Women’s volleyball to get tested at home with two top-25 opponents

by Sydney Olmstead, Contributor

For the first time in nearly a month, San Diego State volleyball will wear its home uniforms when it takes on two nationally ranked teams this week.

SDSU has endured a rigorous preseason and has started Mountain West play at 1-1. The Aztecs sit at 4-10 and are currently ranked eighth in the conference, below their predicted sixth-place finish.

This week, SDSU will face two nationally ranked opponents: No. 25 University of Wyoming and No. 20 Colorado State.

The weakest point for SDSU is scoring. Throughout the week the team will be stressing improving its hitting percentage in order to hold its own in future matches. Despite her team’s early-season struggles, head coach Deitre Collins-Parker is confident in the Aztecs.

“We had a rough preseason,” she said. “And I did that on purpose, knowing that it was going to be tough. They know that they played against some really tough competition and they are ready for Wyoming and Colorado State and anybody else in the conference.”

This season hasn’t been all bad, though. SDSU beat University of New Mexico on the road in the first conference match of the year. The Aztecs then suffered a tough loss at Air Force before finally returning home for this week’s games.

On Thursday, SDSU will host Wyoming, which is known right now for its strong defense. The Cowboys have a .130 opponent hitting percentage, an average of 2.91 blocks per set and an overall record of 12-2.

On Saturday, the Aztecs will play against Colorado State, which regularly ranks among the nation’s best. Currently the Rams have an overall record of 9-3, including a 2-0 mark in conference after wins against Utah State and Boise State.

Meanwhile, SDSU has been on the road for nearly a month and hasn’t played a home game since Sept. 5. In the past four seasons, the team is 46-8 at home.

SDSU has some impressive young talent this year. Freshman outside hitter Alexandra Psoma, freshman setter Lauren Utchen and redshirt-freshman middle blocker Deja Harris are all starters this season. Harris led the Aztecs with 15 kills in the three-set win at New Mexico, while Psoma had 13 kills to lead the Aztecs against Air Force on Sept. 26.

With a younger, fresher roster, Collins-Parker knew this would be a year for learning and development.

“We’re young, new, still trying to figure things out,” she said, “I think the sky’s the limit for us.”

The road so far has been rough, but the Aztecs are back at home and ready to make a run at a conference title.