Aztecs prepare for Saturday morning in Fresno state

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SAN DIEGO – The San Diego State Volleyball team returns to the field on Saturday, November 6, when they travel to the Central Valley to face Fresno State in a Mountain West game, starting at 11:00 a.m. , Pacific Time.

Links to live statistics and streaming video via the Mountain West network will be available at GoAztecs.com.

SDSU comes off a thrilling 3-2 victory at UNLV on Monday night (25-22, 16-25, 11-25, 25-23, 15-11), which ended a five-game losing streak. Zoi Faki led the Aztecs with 16 wins, while Victoria O’Sullivan finished with 12 clean storage.

Besides, Heipua Tautua’a showed his versatility with eight assists, 12 digs and three assists, a record for the team, helping the Scarlet and Black win in Vegas for just the second time since the start of the 2013 campaign.

Despite a deficit in almost every statistic category, SDSU posted more team blocks (5.0 to 1.0) in the last two sets while benefiting from nine total UNLV attack errors and five serves. temperamental during this period to help the key to his return.

At the start of the weekend, the Aztecs sit ninth in the conference standings with a score of 4-9 and an overall record of 7-18. SDSU is three games behind Boise State (7-6), sixth, in the race for last place in the Mountain West Championship. The top six teams in the league will receive an offer for the MW Championship, Nov. 24-26, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For the season, the Aztecs sit second in the conference with 11.74 assists per set while placing fourth in recoveries (13.02 / set), fifth in kills (12.69 / set) and seventh for the percentage of strikes (0.219). However, SDSU fared much better offensively in MW matches, leading the league in eliminations (13.18 / set) and assists (12.12 / set) while also placing fourth in hitting percentage (0.235). .

Individually, O’Sullivan leads the Aztecs with 3.64 kills per set, which puts him third in Mountain West. The senior SDSU has amassed 950 kills for her career, needing only 50 more in the last five games to reach the 1,000 kills plateau in a scarlet and black uniform.

Last week, O’Sullivan threw a collegiate record of 24 kills in a narrow 3-2 loss to Utah State and followed that effort with 23 more put-ups in a four-set loss to tied Boise State. for the third- and fifth-highest game total, respectively, in the conference so far this year. Along with his performances, the Aztec also collected more than 20 kills in consecutive games for the first time in his career.

Additionally, O’Sullivan has recorded double-digit wins in 20 of his previous 22 starts and topped that plateau in 52 of his last 67 appearances dating back to the start of the 2019 campaign.

Elsewhere, senior Nathalie Smith ranks fourth in Mountain West in all games with an average of 3.72 digs per set. Smith’s 27 digs against Houston Baptist on August 27 are tied for the fourth best performance in the conference this season and are leading for a straight set game. Additionally, the SDSU senior registered 22 balls against UC Riverside on September 18, which is tied for the third best total in a three-set contest.

Meanwhile, Fresno State (10-11, 6-7 MW) sits seventh in the conference standings after a four-set home loss to UNLV on Thursday (17-25, 25-20, 14-25, 22 -25). Senior Desiree Sukhov led the Bulldogs with 14 kills, while junior Grace Doyle (13) and rookie Ella Rud (12) also posted double-digit rankings. However, the Rebels posted a higher hitting percentage (0.363-0.242) and took advantage of kills (56-49) and aces (12-8) to help keep Fresno State at bay.

At the start of Saturday’s game, the Bulldogs have three players who average more than two kills per set, including Sukhov (2.86), junior Amaria Kelly (2.43) and classmate Savanah Smith (2 , 59), with Doyle (1.99) not far behind. Among the MW leaders, sophomore Kasey Purrey ranks second with 1.22 blocks per set, while junior Mikayla Weiss is sixth in assists (6.68 / set). Additionally, Doyle ranks 10th this week with a 0.336 hit percentage and eighth in service aces (0.36 / set, 27 overall), behind teammate Sukhov (0.43 / set, 32 overall). ), which is tied for third in this category.

Collectively, Fresno State ranks fourth in both blocks (2.27 / set) and aces (1.78 / set) but occupies the bottom half of the conference for kills (9th, 11.59 / set), the passes (9th, 10.73 / set) and the percentage of strikes. (10th,. 190).

The Bulldogs are led by fourth-year head coach Jonathan Winder, who was a four-time All-American and 2007 National Player of the Year for the men’s team at Pepperdine, where he led the Waves to the NCAA final as a senior in 2008.

Despite a five-set loss to Fresno State in San Diego on Oct. 7 (25-22, 22-25, 25-17, 23-25, 12-15), San Diego State is still in the lead. all time. university series 33-16. In that competition last month, the Aztecs took a 2-1 lead in the sets but couldn’t shut down the Bulldogs, who benefited from eight SDSU attacking errors and three temperamental serves in the fourth set. pivot while blocking the Scarlet and Black 5.0 for 2.0.

The teams combined for 12 draws and six lead changes in this fourth stanza, where Tautua’a led the Aztec offensive with four kills, while Noa miller and Andrea Walker collected three each. The Aztecs looked set to close the game after taking a 21-18 lead on streak wins from Walker and Kennedy Feuerborn.

However, the Bulldogs struggled against the ropes, opening a timely 5-1 push to pull ahead 23-22. Fresno State received three points on two off target SDSU attacks and a ball handling error, while Rud reversed a kill and combined with Purry on a block. The Aztecs tied the scoring soon after at 23-23 on a Walker blast but couldn’t regain the upper hand as the Bulldogs recorded back-to-back wins to escape with the set. Pique, SDSU fell 7-2 behind in the fifth set and couldn’t gain the upper hand after reducing the margin to 14-12.

The Aztecs are 9-9 on 18 previous trips to Fresno since 1986. The Bulldogs are 6-3 at home this year, while SDSU are 4-7 in real road games. including 3-3 in conference.

Following Saturday’s showdown, San Diego State will make its final road trip of the regular season next week when it takes on the Air Force on Thursday, November 11 before taking on New Mexico on Saturday 13 November.

The Aztecs end their regular season with a pair of home games against Nevada (Nov. 18) and San Jose State (Nov. 20).


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