SF State women's volleyball lose winning streak to Fresno Pacific at Route 92 Showdown

The women’s volleyball team opened the Route 92 Showdown with a hard-fought win against Academy of Art, only to fall to Fresno Pacific later in the evening.

The Gators had a 3-0 record coming into today, but lost their undefeated title after falling to the Sunbirds 11-15 in the fifth set.

In the first match against Academy of Art, the Gators trailed after the first two sets but maintained focus to capture the third and finish off the Urban Knights in five sets.

Three players posted season highs leading the team to victory. Senior Iris Tolenada improved to 56 assists and Freshman Jessica Nicerio accumulated 34 digs.

Freshman Meagan Wright increased her attack percentage to .485 along with a personal best of 20 kills. She believes the team worked hard and stayed positive for the win.

“Everybody just brings something different,” said Wright. “Just know that you can control what’s on your side of the court.”

In the first two sets, the Gators were leading the Urban Knights with 24 kills, yet managed to commit 22 errors. Going into the third set, the team looked focused and ready to play. The Gators closed out the game with a team total of 67 kills and eight aces.

Moving into the second match against Fresno Pacific, both teams were evenly matched, while the Gators having a slightly higher hitting percentage at .297.

The Gators lost the first set but were able to hold off the Sunbirds for the second. Strong hitting from Wright and senior Megan Johnson led the Gators to the final 5th set for the second time that day. Despite the effort, it was not enough to hold off Fresno as they closed in on the Gators.

Fresno Pacific finished with 15 team blocks to deny the Gators the undefeated title.

Junior Katie Judd isn’t worried about the loss, but concentrated on tomorrow’s matches and finishing preseason strong.

“The most important play is the next play. In this case the most important game is the next game. You just have to shake it off quick,” said Judd. “We have a really deep team this year. There’s a lot of talent. It’s good to get fresh eyes in there. If someone is struggling you go in and help them out.”

Head Coach Michelle Patton contributes the team’s success to multiple players contributing every game.

“I feel like we battled in both matches. It was good to see a lot of different people step up. That was good for me to see as a coach,” said Patton. “We have to be ready to battle tomorrow because we’re facing another great team.”

The Gators improved to 4-1 and look to carry over their success when CCAA action starts at “The Swamp” Friday Sept. 14th at 7 p.m. The Gators will be hosting Cal State East Bay.

The tournament continues tomorrow at Notre Dame de Namur University where the Gators will face Cal Baptist at 11:30 a.m. and finish play against co-host Notre Dame at 7 p.m.