FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – CSU Bakersfield's volleyball team split its final two matches of the Arkansas Tournament on Saturday. The Roadrunners had a tight clash with Utah State, but fell 3-1 before rebounding with a straight-sets victory over Louisiana-Monroe.
“I am happy with how the team came out this afternoon after losing two matches,” said Giovana Melo, CSUB's Director of Volleyball. “We have a lot of new players learning a completely new system, so, we have a long ways to go, but our girls battled.”
Utah State 3, CSUB 1
Utah State controlled the first set, disrupting CSUB's momentum with several three-point runs en route to a 25-16 win. Trailing one set to zero, the `Runners got right to work and answered with a 25-21 win to tie the match. Set 2 featured top-notch play from several `Runners including four kills from both Emily Hansen and Briannah Mariner. Haylee Roberts also contributed with three blocks in the second set.
The third set swung back to the Aggies as Utah State swung hard and landed kills at a rate of .279. USU took a 2-1 lead on the 25-20 win despite four more kills from CSUB's Hansen.
The fourth and final set proved to be the most competitive. USU jumped out to a 10-4 lead, but the `Runners clawed their way back to tie the match at 17-17. Trailing 23-19, CSUB ran off three straight points with junior Mattison DeGarmo leading the way. The transfer from Wyoming put away two kills in that stretch while assisting redshirt senior Sydney Haynes on a block for the third.
CSUB managed to tie the fourth set at 24-24, but a USU kill followed by a service ace ended the set at 26-24 and the match at three games to one. The Aggie offense was led by senior outside hitter Lauren Anderson. The 2016 All-Mountain West honoree made 69 total attempts, 36 more than any other student-athlete in the match. Anderson's 22 kills were also a match-high.
Hansen, a freshman from Bakersfield, led all `Runners with 12 kills and five blocks in the match. Haynes added 10 kills and three blocks while Mariner, a junior transfer, had eight kills and a team-high .375 hitting percentage. Redshirt sophomore Sidney Wicks earned her first double-double of the season with 24 assists and 11 digs.
CSUB 3, Louisiana-Monroe 0
The `Runners came out firing on all cylinders to take a 16-9 lead over the Warhawks in the first set. ULM surged back and tied the set at 20-20, but Roberts' four kills and two blocks in the set helped CSUB win 25-23.
The second set also started out tight with the teams tied as late as 8-8. After ULM scored a point to make it 11-10 CSUB, the `Runners claimed six of the next eight points to get some breathing room. At 22-19, CSUB won the final three points as a Roberts kill capped Set 2 at 25-19.
Bakersfield won the final set by a score of 25-19 again to earn the straight-sets victory. Sukhov contributed three points and three digs in Set 3 while Mariner had four kills, two digs, and two blocks.
CSUB was offensively led by Mariner, who finished the match with 10 kills, seven digs, and four blocks. Roberts was close behind her teammate with nine kills, three blocks, and an ace. Senior Fabiana Andrade ran the offense in the final game of the tournament, recording 22 assists and seven digs while Wicks had 11 assists and eight digs.
The `Runners (1-2) will return to Bakersfield for a few days of practice before hitting the road for their next tournament. CSUB will compete in the Jackrabbit Invitational in Brookings, S.D., Sept. 1-2. Bakersfield will again play three matches over two days against Valparaiso, host South Dakota State, and Northern Arizona.