Gator women's volleyball loses first place ranking against Cal State San Bernardino

The Swamp
SF State Gator Meagan Wright (20), left, attempts to block a spike from Cal State San Bernardino Coyote Brenna McIntosh (22), right. The Gators went on to lose to the Coyotes in a four-set CCAA match at "The Swamp" on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. Photo by Jamie Balaoro / Xpress

An early lead for the SF State women’s volleyball team wasn’t enough to hold off visitors Cal State San Bernardino Friday night.

SF State and San Bernardino were tied for first earlier this week with the Gators pulling into sole possession after a win against nationally ranked Sonoma State Wednesday night. The Gators were looking to keep their title and top spot in conference.

The Gators started off quick by leading the Coyotes the entire first set. Sophomore Kelly Ostello recorded six kills and freshman Jaclyn Clark tied her season best of four aces.

Going into the second set, the Coyotes capitalized on the Gators miscommunication to tie the game, hitting the Gators .323 to .057.

The next set showed no sign of relief as the Coyotes were able to hold down the Gators offense to only seven points. The Coyotes earned 11 kills and shut down the Gators 25-7, taking the 2-1 advantage.

Ostello believes the team could have potentially won the game if they had remained aggressive.

“Our whole defensive mentality was off tonight,” Ostello said “We didn’t block well. We missed a lot of serves when it was crunch time.”

With the Coyotes ready to wrap up the game, the Gators rallied to keep their streak alive. They tied the score eight times in the fourth but did not have enough power to close it out.

Senior Megan Johnson registered her ninth double-double, hitting 11 kills and 11 digs. Freshman Meagan Wright added 11 kills with eight of them coming in the final fourth set. Ostello rounded out the scoring with her 11 kills, making three Gator players reach double digit kills.

The Gators finished with a .079 hitting percentage, 45 kills, six aces and one team block.

The Coyotes finished with a .321 hitting percentage, 49 kills, five aces and 11 team blocks. The Coyotes were led by freshman Alexandra Torline’s 12 kills and senior Camille Smith’s 38 assists.

The Gators fall to a 6-2 record moving into second place in conference.

Head Coach Michelle Patton believes the young team played well but did not meet their standards.

“Even when we were playing well for a couple rallies, we didn’t stay in it long enough,” Patton said. “We kind of have to tap the short term memory on this one and move on to tomorrow.”

Next match up for the Gators will be Saturday night against UC San Diego. The Tritons are tied for first place with Cal State San Bernardino. The game will begin at 7 p.m. at “The Swamp.”