Gators win in nail-biting game against Cal State Monterey Bay

Greg Moreno
SF State women's volleyball players jump to block a shot from Cal State Monterey Bay on Sept. 23. The Gators beat the Otters 29-27. Photo by Gregory Moreno

From start to finish, SF State volleyball was at its best Friday night as the Gators swept Cal State Monterey Bay 3-0. The Gators edged the Otters 25-21, 27-25, and 29-27.

“This is like the best game we’ve ever played as a team. We were all talking, we were all playing aggressively. We were on it,” said freshman Kelly Ostello. “We were ready to play this team.”

Each set was close, but none as much as the third. With the Gators up 26-25 they only needed one more point to win the match. Then the Otters softly hit the ball into Gator territory. The ball looked as if it was heading out-of-bounds as the officials started to award the point, and victory, to the Gators.

After discussing the play, the point was taken away and given to the Otters; evening the score at 26. In volleyball, the teams play to 25 points, but need to win by at least two.

“Basically you have to recuperate everything in your mind and just focus on the next play, because you know you have to do something to score the next point,” said Jazmine Williams.

“We were in the huddle and we said, either way, if this call goes our way or their way, we’re ready to play the next point,” Ostello said.

The team talks constantly about “mental toughness” and tonight’s game proved what a big effect it can have on a game.

“We’re winning this game,” Williams added, who came up with a huge block to score the night’s final point.

Teammate Halimah Oswald, who led the team with 12 kills, described Williams’ block as “perfect. She was like, ‘Nope, I don’t think so!’”

After losing the Sept. 15 home game in five close sets to Cal Poly Pomona, everyone agreed tonight’s victory was all the sweeter.

“I’m glad it was tight and that they fought through because now they have that experience,” coach Michelle Patton said.

“Whenever you step on the court you either get better or you get worse, you never stay the same. I thought we got better this week and that’s all that matters.”