Aggie Volleyball Defeats Fresno State 3-1

Kayleigh GiddensThe Aggie volleyball team improved to 4-1 in WAC play as they defeated Fresno State 3-1 on Saturday afternoon. The Aggies dropped the first set 25-23 but bounced back to win the next three sets 25-17, 25-20, 25-14. Kayleigh Giddens continued her solid play finishing with 25 kills while setter Jennah DeVries recorded 54 assists.

The Aggies and Bulldogs battled closely in the first set as the Aggies held an early 9-6 advantage after a kill by freshman middle blocker Desiree Scott. The Bulldogs would cut the Aggies' lead to one at 10-9 on a kill by Lauren Berger but a service ace by Rocio Gutierrez a few plays later would give the Aggies a 13-10 lead. The Bulldogs would respond with three straight points to tie the set at 13-13. The Aggies would regain a two point advantage at 16-14 on a kill by Kayleigh Giddens but two straight points from Fresno State would tie the set at 16 all. The Aggies would score four of the next five points to take a 20-17 lead and would hold a 22-19 lead after a block by Whitney Woods. However, the Bulldogs would take a timeout to try to stop the Aggies' momentum. Out of the timeout the Bulldogs would score six of the final seven points to take the set 25-23.

The Aggies would jump out to a quick 3-1 lead in the second set but the Bulldogs would tie the set at 4-4 on a kill by Brianna Clarke. The Agies would respond with a 4-0 run to take an 8-4 lead but Fresno State would once again answer tying the set at 9-9. Kayleigh Giddens would record back-to-back kills which was followed by a service ace by Kelsey Brennan and another kill by Giddens giving the Aggies a 13-9 lead. The Aggies would maintain their four point advantage at 19-15 on a kill by Kelsey Brennan. The Aggies would end the set on a 6-2 run to take the set 25-17 getting a service ace by Jennah DeVries on set point to seal the set win.

Coming out of intermission the Aggies and Bulldogs would battle closely in the crucial third set. Neither team would lead by more than one point as the set was tied 16-15 midway through. Back-to-back Fresno State kills would give them an 18-15 lead forcing an Aggie timeout. Out of the timeout the Aggies would get a block by Kayleigh Giddens who followed that up with a kill, a block assist along with Desiree Scott and another kill to go ahead 19-18. The Bulldogs would tie the set at 19 on a kill by Lauren Berger but a kill by Whitney Woods was followed by an attack error by Marissa Brand to give the Aggies a 21-19 lead. Kasey Van Grouw would cut the Aggies' lead to one at 21-20 but the Aggies would record four straight kills to end the set 25-20 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.

The Aggies would dominate the fourth and final set jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead. The Bulldogs would close to within one point at 7-6 but five straight points by the Aggies would give them a 12-6 lead. The Aggies would maintain their comfortable lead up 16-9 and after a Lauren Berger kill cut the lead to 16-10, the Aggies would close out the set winning 25-14 getting back-to-back kills from Kayleigh Giddens to win the match 3-1.

Kayleigh Giddens led all players with a match-high 25 kills on 54 swings with just four attack errors for a .389 hitting percentage. Kelsey Brennan added 11 kills committing just two attack errors on 23 swings to finish with a .391 hitting percentage. Amanda Tonga finished with nine kills, Whitney Woods added seven kills and freshman Desiree Scott added five kills on seven swings with no attack errors. Setter Jennah DeVries had 54 aces as the Aggies hit .303 as a team.

Kelsi Phillips led a group of four Aggies who finished in double-digit digs. Phillips finished with a match-high 22 digs while Kayleigh Giddens added 14, Ellen Miks recorded 12, Rocio Gutierrez finished with 11 and Jennah DeVries added seven digs while Amanda Tonga had six.

The Aggies held the Bulldogs to a .111 hitting percentage forcing the Bulldogs to commit 29 attack errors on the night. Lauren Berger and Marissa Brand each finished with 11 kills. Brianna Clarke finished with eight kills for the Aggies and Taylor Horton added nine.

Kelly Mason recorded 21 digs for the Bulldogs while Marissa Brand added 14.

The Aggies improve to 10-9 on the season and 4-1 in WAC play. The Aggies return home for a three-match home stand against Boise State, Idaho and Nevada.