Aztecs sweep Utah State to snap five-game skid


Sam Mayo

Sophomore setter Camryn Machado attempts to attack the Boise State defense during the Aztecs’ 3-2 loss to the Broncos on Oct. 24 at Peterson Gym

by Breven Honda, Staff Writer

Entering Saturday’s match, San Diego State volleyball recorded nine service aces in four matches.

Sophomore setter Camryn Machado closed the match on back-to-back aces.

Machado had three of the team’s 10 service aces, and Aztecs’ head coach Deitre Collins-Parker said they have been working on it in practice.

“We’ve really worked a lot on serving the last two weeks,” Collins-Parker said. “As they are getting more comfortable getting back there, they’re hitting more balls, they hit some really nice targets. We have to be better from the service line. It’s nice to get on the board with some aces.”

The Aztecs (10-11, 3-7 Mountain West Conference) doubled the number of aces Utah State (2-20, 2-8 MWC) had and snapped a five-game losing streak with a three-set victory (25-19, 25-20, 25-22) on Oct. 26 at Peterson Gym.

Collins-Parker said the sweep was tough to hold.

“Three-set (wins) is something we talk about when you go up on someone to maintain,” she said. “For three-quarters of the match, we did really well, even when we started down, stayed calm, got into our rhythm and played it.”

In addition to Machado’s three aces, she finished with 41 assists and six digs.

Collins-Parker said Machado was able to deliver in situations that were not the best.

“Where (Machado) most impressed me is that out-of-system balls that she had to bump set were beautiful,” Collins-Parker said. “Her being able to put a really good hittable ball on a not-perfect situation was really key. We got a lot of swings when we weren’t passing at our best.”

Machado’s 41 assists, is second-best among Mountain West Conference qualifiers in a three-set match, and she said she relies on her passers in order to put up those numbers.

“The passers did so well,” Machado said. “I am so proud of them. They have been working so hard and I know they are trying hard.”

One of the passers that did well was junior libero Loren Teter who finished with 19 digs, which is tied for fourth among MWC qualifiers in digs for a three-set match.

Collins-Parker moved Teter’s position and since then, she has been seeing the ball better.

“She made some nice moves,” Collins-Parker said. “A good read attack for her. We switched her to left back a few weeks ago and it gives her more range of being able to cover more court.”

On the flip side offensively, senior middle blocker Tamia Reeved recorded 10 kills and a season-high .714 attack percentage, which puts her in a second-place tie in the conference for highest attack percentage in a three-set match.

Collins-Parker said Reeves’ performance was not just good at the net but also serving.

“Tamia sees the game better than anybody,” Collins-Parker said. “I thought she did not only a good job attacking, but when she served, she’s as good as anybody back there.”

Reeves said practice this past week led to the high percentage.

“In practice, we’ve been talking about spreading the (setter) out and not having to rely on our (outside hitters) to put the ball away every time,” she said. “(Machado) did a great job of throwing the set out today which allowed (sophomore middle blocker Andrea Walker) and I to get more kills.”

SDSU goes on the road to face New Mexico on Oct. 31 and UNLV on Nov. 2 before the final homestand of the season.

Although the Aztecs have not won a road game this season, Reeves said they have to change their intellect now they have some energy from a victory.

“It’s time to switch that mentality of ‘we’ve lost on the road’ so we’re not thinking about the two weeks we were gone,” she said. “We’re thinking that we are a new road team, we are going to win these road games.”