With the score at 24-15 in the third and final set of SF State’s victory over visiting Humboldt State University, the crowd rose to their feet, chanting and begging for the finishing blow. The women’s volleyball team delivered.
The Gators rode their hot run of form once again against conference foes Humboldt, grabbing a key win in the process. The victory brings SF State into a three-way tie for third place in the competitive California Collegiate Athletics Association.
The first set of the game was a tight contest. When the Gators looked to be on their heels, down 23 to 20, they pulled together 4 points in a row to reclaim the lead. After trading a series of points, and some big errors from Humboldt, the SF State women took the set 28-26.
According to Coach Jill Muhe, the toughest part of winning the set was trying to stifle the Lumberjacks’ system.
“In the first game, they were in their rhythm,” she said. “Even though we were maybe in a rhythm too, it forced the game to go back and forth and really forced us to work for the win.”
The Gators asserted themselves more in the second set, taking 14 out of 19 points to take the game from an early 7-7 game to 21-12, forcing two quick Humboldt timeouts in the process. After Humboldt State managed to get back into the game, frustration set in, resulting in consecutive cards. A yellow card was issued to a Humboldt player for aggression after the play. Immediately after, Humboldt’s Symone Hayden earned a red card, which gave SF State the set winning point in a bizarre fashion.
The third set jumped to a quick 12-5 advantage for the Gators. When the Lumberjacks started to get some rallies together, it was the Gators who took over. The crowd started standing and screaming in harmony, “Let’s go Gators!” After that, the team cruised to a 25-16 victory.
“It was a pink-out tonight,” said defensive specialist Krista Forte, who has cemented herself as a regular in the SF State lineup. “It was amazing to have everyone out there supporting us and supporting breast cancer awareness as well.”
According to Forte, the support was instrumental in inspiring the home team and getting the visitors off their game.
“It helps us to be our best, but it also makes them nervous, which leads to sloppy errors and bad play,” she said.
Muhe said she would love to see more of the same fan turnout.
“It’s always fun playing in front of a crowd,” Muhe said. “It’s even more fun when those crowds are on your side. We are really grateful for the support and for giving us a great environment to play in.”
The Gators hit the court again Saturday night at home against conference powerhouse Sonoma State University, who currently sit in first place with an 8-1 record.