Gators lose first league game to ranked Coyotes
SF State’s women’s volleyball team lost last night in a 3-1 battle against nationally ranked California State University, San Bernardino.
SF State gators showed signs of miscommunication during the first set by letting balls hit the ground between players, as well as serving into the net and missing shots out of bounds. The Gators lessened the blow at 13-14, but quickly fell behind again.
After falling behind multiple times and despite numerous comeback attempts, the Gators had a brief break after San Bernardino called a timeout that gave SF State the chance to come back. However, after the 21-23 timeout, Gators would lose the set 22-25.
“It’s hard going into a big team, They’re nationally ranked and they win this conference every year,” said Freshman Brenna Dougherty, who had a career high of 17 kills for the night. “It’s hard coming into the game with that mentality, but we fought back, and that fight is so real. We felt it in all of us and we believed that we can be a better team than them.”
In the second set, the Gators showed no signs of fire as the Coyotes continued to pull away whenever SF State would catch up to them; first at 7-9, then eventually at 17-19. Lack of communication in the swamp allowed San Bernardino to add to their deficit against the Gators, and they walked away with a comfortable 20-25 set win.
Come the third set, the Gators found the drive they were desperately missing. Although San Bernardino struck first, the Gators retained a lead all the way to 18-18, where an unsuccessful dig from Jocelyn Rodriguez would give the Coyotes a short lead. That is, until Rodriguez began a streak of unanswerable serves, retaking the lead 21-19 as San Bernardino was forced to call a timeout to recuperate.
After heading into extra points, Gators took their first set 26-24.
“During the break we told each other that we needed to play six strong,” Rodriguez said. “I think by communicating with each other and telling each other that this spot is open, or that spot is open, it really helped contribute to the win.”
The fourth set saw an intense back and forth battle, staying within one point of each other, until San Bernardino began to pull away at 9-6. A timeout called by SF State only slowed the team down as they quickly fell into a 12-18 hole. Miscommunication ultimately ended the Gator’s night 25-15 in the final set.
“I was excited about this match,” said head coach Matt Hoffman. “You want to have a team like [San Bernardino] in your gym to see where you stand, and I was really proud of the way they competed the whole time.”
The team looks to tonight as they gear up to come back from the loss and claim their first league win against Cal Poly Pomona at 7 p.m.