Aztecs have played in three five-set matches through first four contests
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
August 31, 2018 (Tucson) - The San Diego State volleyball team dropped a five-set decision against Pacific (25-19, 18-25, 16-25, 25-22, 9-15) to open the Cactus Classic at the McKale Center on Friday afternoon.
The Aztecs (1-3) started the match on a positive note, using a five-kill, four-dig performance by Ashlynn Dunbar and three blocks from Deja Harris to cruise to a 25-19 win in the first set. The Aztecs posted a .387 hitting percentage in the first frame, while holding Pacific to just a .152 clip.
While the Aztec defense was able to maintain a similar performance in the second set, holding Pacific to just a .184 hitting percentage, the SDSU offense struggled to find a groove in the second set despite jumping out to an 11-7 lead. The Aztecs ultimately hit just .147 in the set before seeing the match evened up at 1-1 after a 25-18 second-set loss.
Dunbar logged another four kills and four digs in the set, while Sam McGrath posted eight digs in the second set to help limit the Tiger offense.
Pacific (2-2) broke through offensively in the third, logging 15 kills on 25 attacks for a .560 hitting percentage. SDSU’s offensive struggles from the second set carried over into the third set, with SDSU posting a team match-high six attack errors in the set.
With the Tigers holding a 2-1 advantage, SDSU posted strong showings both offensively and defensively in the fourth, outhitting Pacific .270 - .079. With SDSU down 17-16, back-to-back kills by Delaney Taylor, a Pacific attack error and a kill by Hannah Turnlund helped SDSU go on a game-defining 4-0 run to take a 20-17 lead and ultimately take the set, 25-22. Both Dunbar and Harris recorded four kills on nine swings in the fourth set to lead the offensive charge.
Despite three kills from freshman Victoria O’Sullivan in the fifth set, SDSU was never able to overcome an early 3-0 deficit in the fifth set. The Tigers recorded 10 kills against just one attack error in the fifth to ultimately take the game, 15-9, and the match, 3-2.
Dunbar led SDSU with 16 kills, while Taylor posted 46 assists to set up the Aztec offense. Defensively, Dunbar led SDSU with 15 digs, giving the junior her third double double of the season. Harris (12 kills) and Turnlund (10 kills) also posted double-digit kill performances, while Lauren Lee and McGrath logged 14 and 11 digs, respectively.
- With three double doubles in her first four matches, Ashlynn Dunbar is just one double double shy of matching her double double total from her 2017 season.
- Three of SDSU’s first four matches have been determined in five sets. The last time SDSU has played three five-set matches in a four-match stretch was Sept. 7 – 10, 2016.