Aztecs survive rally from San José State to win Mountain West opener


Sam Mayo

Sophomore outside hitter Victoria O’Sullivan attacks the ball during the Aztecs’ 3-2 victory over San José State on Sept. 27 at Peterson Gym.

by Sophia Torres, Contributor

San Diego State volleyball won the first two sets against San José State.

The Aztecs were four points away from clinching a three-set sweep.

Instead, the Spartans fought back and took the next two sets, forcing the Aztecs into yet another five-set match against SJSU.

After a net violation for the match point in the fifth set that made the score 14 all, sophomore outside hitter Victoria O’Sullivan notched her 20th kill of the night to seal the 3-2 conference-opening win for SDSU on Thursday at Peterson Gym.

“It’s good to pull out a win from (SJSU), but honestly we need to do better on our side – just pushing to the finish and to fight for the three sets,” O’Sullivan said.

SDSU head coach Detire Collins-Parker said the girls played the way they needed to at the start of the match but got sloppy to let SJSU come back.

“We need to play clean volleyball,” she said. “That’s how we started the match and we kind of got away from that a little bit and we (need to) take care of the ball when it’s in our hands.”

The Aztecs hit hard in the first two sets, winning 25-14 and 25-23.

Then in the third set, something was off for the Aztecs.

SJSU scored three straight points to start off the set and took its first lead of the match. From then on, it was a highly-contested match with 12 ties and five lead changes.

“You like when your team battles,” Collins-Parker said. “The match was a battle and anytime we learn from whatever situation we (are in), that’s the purpose of being in the match.”

Along with her 20 kills, O’Sullivan had 42 total attempts, a .310 attack percentage and a total of 20.5 points to contribute to the Aztec win.

Collins-Parker wanted to utilize O’Sullivan in the final set, changing the normal rotation.

“We changed our rotation because (senior outside hitter) Hannah (Turnlund) kind of struggled tonight,” Collins-Parker said. “It was really important to have (O’Sullivan) swing for the end of the game.”

SDSU plans to continue to make changes to its strategies for the rest of Mountain West Conference play.

Turnlund said that will be a key for success in future conference games.

“We need to stay steady the whole game and know that teams are gonna change against us.” Turnlund said. “They can make changes and, we also need to change to continue to beat them.”

The Aztecs hope to continue their momentum for another Mountain West Conference match at 1 p.m. this Saturday at Nevada.