Volleyball falls to Utah State, Boise in first conference matches of the season


Photo by Weicheng Han

Junior outside hitter Alexandra Psoma rises for a spike during SDSU’s match against Loyola Marymount.

by Sydney Northcutt, Staff Writer

San Diego State volleyball went on the road to open up Mountain West Conference competition with losses to both Utah State and Boise State. The two losses contribute to a Mountain West record of 0-2, and a 6-9 record overall in 2017..

Thursday, Sept. 21, SDSU lost to the Utah State in four sets (25-21, 23-25, 14-25, 19-25) as it failed to hold on to its one-set lead. USU held the statistical advantage in nearly every category, most notably holding the Scarlet and Black to a .026 hitting percentage in the final three sets.

Sophomore outside hitter Hannah Turnlund was a highlight for the Aztecs as she finished with 12 kills, and senior libero Devyn Pritchard finished with a total of 20 digs from the back row.

The first set featured major runs for both teams. USU started out the match with a 7-2 run to put the Aztecs in an early hole, but SDSU answered with a run of its own, surpassing the Aggies and taking a permanent lead.

The Aztecs could not maintain this momentum in the second set as they found themselves playing catch-up for the majority of the set. After leading the set at 4-2 SDSU would not regain the lead for the remainder of the set. The third set told a similar story, as the Aggies went on a run that would go unanswered by the Aztecs.

“It’s always hard to play from behind,” Turnlund said. “Volleyball is a rally game, so you can never really give up, but it definitely makes it a lot harder to play catch up and be on the defense instead of attacking.”

The fourth set featured the most lead changes and ties of the entire match, as SDSU and USU went back and forth for the first half of the set. At the midpoint of the set the Scarlet and Black trailed 15-12 and again at 17-16. They were ultimately unable to comeback and fell, 25-19.

The team suffered another conference loss Saturday afternoon at the hands of Boise State (22-25, 16-25, 18-25). Turnlund led the team again with eight kills, but the Aztecs were behindin hitting percentage throughout the match as they posted a .092 hitting percentage to Boise’s .267.

The Aztecs were again on the pursuit from the very beginning of set one, as they led early on at 2-1 but then failed to keep the advantage. The Aztecs fell  behind, 5-13, but then made their way to within two at 20-22. However, this would be the closest the Aztecs would be as they were unable to complete the comeback.

The second set would have a different story, as there were many ties and lead changes up until a tied score of 10-10. However, at 17-15 the Broncos went on a 8-1 run to close out the set and shut out any potential momentum the Scarlet and Black could muster heading into the third set.

Although SDSU had the upperhand in the third set up until 7-5, Boise would soon tie up the game at 7-7 and take the lead for good.

“Against Boise we just again struggled with a slow start, it took us a little too long to get on the offensive against them,” senior outside hitter Alexis Cage said, “We had some great moments just the errors on our own side is what ultimately made it hard to get in a rhythm in the match.”

SDSU will look to rebound from their losses this week against San Jose State and University of Nevada, Reno, as they continue into Mountain West play.