The final home game of the season proved to be unlucky as the SF State women’s volleyball team suffered a sweep at the hands of visiting Cal State LA Saturday night.
Before the match, the team held a ceremony for family and friends to recognize the accomplishments of the graduating class. The home crowd cheered and clapped as seniors Kelsie Brennan, Sammie Battles, Megan Johnson and Iris Tolenada received awards and flowers.
Despite the festivities for Senior Night, the Gators endured their fifth loss of the season. The loss dropped them to a 13-5 conference record, putting them back into a tie for third place with Sonoma State.
Tolenada is taking Saturday night’s loss as motivation. She’s determined to finish the season strong on the road.
“We just didn’t stick to our game plan tonight,” Tolenada said. “We need to get in the gym, practice hard and get ready for our next match. We still have to take care of our final four matches.”
The score remained close in the first set, with both teams tying up the score nine times. Tied 23-all the Golden Eagles were able to edge out the Gators in the final moments, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
The next set showed no signs of relief as the Eagles disabled the Gators offense, allowing only nine kills. The Gators posted a negative attack percentage of -.026 with 10 attack errors.
The Gators answered with an early comeback in the third. After leading during most of the set, the Gators started committing errors in the final minutes. This let the Eagles’ capitalize their offense and get back into the game. With strong hitting and blocking, the Golden Eagles were able to close out the game while silencing the crowd with a sweep.
Two Gators reached double-digit kills as freshman middle hitter Meagan Wright registered 14 kills and sophomore Kelly Ostello hit 10 kills of her own. Rounding out the offense, Johnson and sophomore Jazmine Williams hit seven kills apiece, contributing to the team’s total of 41 kills.
The Gators finished the night with a .160 attack percentage, committing only five service errors.
Cal State LA finished with a .311 attack percentage, 4o kills and 11.5 team blocks to deny the Gators the victory.
The focus shifts as head coach Michelle Patton prepares for the final road games of the season.
“You got to get a little bit better in the gym, get a little mentally tougher,” Patton said. “You got to be ready to go and understand that people play better at home so you got to step it up. We have a tough weekend ahead of us.”
Cal State San Bernardino and UC San Diego are ranked No.1 and No.2 in conference, making next weekend the toughest road test for the Gators. A win or loss could play a deciding factor if the team makes playoffs or not.