Grind-out comeback not enough for SF State volleyball

After falling two sets to none, SF State mounted a furious comeback against top rank Sonoma State University to even the score, but came up short in the final set of the game.

The Gators looked over matched in their first two sets against the Seawolves, losing by eight and six but they were able to make quick adjustments to prevent a sweep.

According to head coach Jill Muhe, volleyball is a game of adjustments.

“We change up a couple of different styles of sets that we were doing, different service receive formation and playing a little more to what we were seeing on the other side of the court,” Muhe said. “We saw what they were doing and we adjusted to it and back in forth it went.”

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Muhe added that despite their loss, the biggest positive they can take out from the game is the team’s persistent effort. “We never gave up, we battle back and stood toe to toe with the top team in our conference, which shows that we can play with anybody in the conference,” Muhe said.

Opposite hitter Chantel Williams is proud of her team effort despite the loss. “We all played our part on the court and were able to maintain great defense throughout the game,” Williams said.

Williams played a big role in the Gator’s rally and had an all-around game. She tallied nine kills, five digs and seven blocks.

Williams believes her coach’s speech during half time motivated the team to play harder than they did the first two sets.

“After being down two sets, we went to the locker room and got our mental focus back,” Williams said. “(Muhe) came in and told us that ‘we’re better than this’ and that made us believe that we were.”

Middle blocker Christine Johnson knew it would be a hard-fought game. “We knew coming into the game that it was going to be tough,” Johnson said.

She recorded a team-high 12 blocks, which was a difference maker in the game. “They have some heavy hitters and I knew it was my job to stop them,” Johnson said. “As far as that, I just got really pumped up and aggressive and I think that showed in my performance.”

With the loss, the Gators fall in fourth place in the conference standings and have a below .500 overall record of nine wins and 10 losses. Despite the defeat, the Gators only lost for the second time in the last seven games.

The team will look to bounce back when they go on a four-game road trip starting Oct. 22 against Cal State Monterrey Bay.

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