It was an uncharacteristically slow start for the SF State volleyball team Friday night, but timely hitting and key adjustments allowed the Gators to begin their long home stand with a 3-0 sweep of Humboldt State.
The first set was extremely close with the Gators battling the Lumberjacks nearly point for point until a Humboldt error and a big kill by Robyn Hall put the team up 30-28.
“Coming off of tight sets like that, you always have to regroup and kind of remember where the other team’s coming from because they’re trying to beat us just as bad,” said Hall, who led the team with 14 kills on the night.
The team did regroup, and came back strong. In the first set there were 14 tie scores and 8 lead changes, but in the second and third sets the Gators led every minute and only tied with Humboldt a combined five times.
“I feel we were all kind of timid in the first game, not hitting as hard as we can because we didn’t want to get blocked. We kind of threw that out the window and went for it,” Halimah Oswald said. Oswald had 13 kills and an ace to add to her career stats.
Tonight’s win helps set the tone for the rest of the month, which features visits from nationally-ranked No. 16 UC San Diego next weekend and top California Collegiate Athletic Association team Sonoma State tomorrow night.
“We always want to make adjustments quickly on teams,” Oswald said. “Especially like, if we get burned on one thing we don’t want to get burned on it again which is what our coaches are trying to get into our heads right now.”
After the team made adjustments they won the second set with a decidedly different score, 25-12. The Lumberjacks almost came back to take the third set but the team held them off, 25-21.
“We talked about the adjustments we needed to make, and we always go out knowing the other team’s going to battle,” coach Michelle Patton said. “They’re a good team, and pretty physical, good blocking team and so we knew we had to pick our game up a little bit.”
“Anytime you can get a win on a Friday night is great for Saturday night but we just take it one game at a time,” she added.
Now that they’ve won tonight they can look forward to facing the Seawolves tomorrow at 7 p.m. Sonoma is 9-1 in conference games and 12-3 overall.
“Anytime we win, especially in three, it’s going to give us momentum for the next day. Hopefully we can use it in the right way and build on it,” Oswald said.
Although the team was on the road for much of September, October will be even tougher and the team is looking forward to the next few weekends at home.
“Just being home in October is going to help a lot. It’s when people are tired, people are hurt, people are getting sore and just fatigued in general, so being home is going to help a lot with that,” Oswald said. “Just having our fans here and familiar surroundings, we’re going to be able to play well.”