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Ashlynn Dunbar logged team-highs in kills (12), aces (6) and digs (11)


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September 27, 2018 (San Diego) - Despite a first-set win and a dominating performance at the service line, the San Diego State volleyball team dropped a four-set decision (25-20, 19-25, 24-26, 22-25) against Mountain West preseason favorite Colorado State at Peterson Gym on Thursday evening.

The Aztecs were quick to make their presence known, jumping out to a 3-0 lead over Colorado State with the help of a pair of Gabi Peoples service aces. The Rams and Aztecs battled back-and-forth through the early portion of the set, but with the Rams holding a 13-12 advantage, the Aztecs went on a 5-0 spurt to take a commanding 17-13 lead after a Sam McGrath service ace. Colorado State cut into SDSU’s largest lead of the match, eventually taking a 22-14 deficit and bringing the score to 24-20, but late kills by Deja Harris and Ashlynn Dunbar closed the first-set win at 25-20.

SDSU was able to overcome a .280 - .192 disadvantage in hitting percentage in the first set, using five total service aces split between two from Peoples, two from Dunbar, and one by McGrath.

Colorado State, which is currently receiving votes in the AVCA national rankings, showed its offensive firepower in the second set, using a .435 team hitting percentage to claim the second set, 25-19. The Aztecs showed some resiliency despite being faced with a sizeable deficit, going on a 6-0 run when down 20-11 to bring the deficit to just three. That was the closest the Aztecs were for the remainder of the set, however, as Colorado State went on to claim the set and even the match with a 25-19 win.

The third set featured seven ties and a pair of lead changes despite the Rams jumping out to an early 7-2 lead. Facing that five-point deficit, the Aztecs rallied for another 6-0 run which included a spurt of three Dunbar service aces to take an 8-7 lead. SDSU continued to hold a narrow lead until a Colorado State kill provided the Rams with its first late-set lead at 22-21. A Colorado State service error knotted the third-set score at 24-24, but unfortunately for SDSU, a Breanna Runnels kill and an SDSU attack error clinched a 2-1 lead for the Rams at 26-24. Erin Gillcrist led the offensive charge for SDSU in the third set, logging four kills on nine swings.

The close-battle trend continued in the fourth set, with the game featuring 11 tie scores and six different lead changes. Four different Aztecs posted at least three kills in the fourth set, and with the set tied at 16-16, SDSU went on a 3-0 run featuring kills by Gillcrist and Deja Harris to take a 19-16 lead and force a CSU timeout. However, coming back from the break, CSU went on a 5-0 run of their own to take a 21-19 lead, which eventually paved the way for the Rams to take the match-clinching fourth-set, 25-22. Hannah Turnlund posted five kills on 11 attempts to lead the SDSU fourth-set attack.

One of the biggest discrepancies in the match was the performances at the service line, with San Diego State logging 10 service aces while CSU recorded 18 service errors against just five service aces. The Rams held sizable advantages in hitting percentage (.291 - .097) and blocks (18 – 4).

A trio of Aztecs posted double-digit kill performances, including Dunbar and Gillcrist with 12 each, and Turnlund with 11. Dunbar also logged team-bests in service aces, with six, and digs, with 11, while Gabi Peoples contributed 38 assists with a pair of service aces.


  • Ashlynn Dunbar logged her sixth double double of the season and the 10th of her career with 12 kills and 11 digs.
  • Four Aztecs accounted for all of SDSU’s first 22 kills in the match, split between six from Erin Gillcrist, six from Hannah Turnlund, five from Deja Harris, and five from Ashlynn Dunbar.
  • SDSU’s first-set win snapped a streak of five consecutive sets lost to Colorado State.
  • The match featured 24 total tie scores and 10 different lead changes.
  • SDSU’s 10 service aces in the match is just one shy of its season-high (11 vs. CSU Bakersfield on Aug. 24)


SDSU continues Mountain West play at home on Saturday, hosting Wyoming at 6:00 p.m. The match will be aired live on the Mountain West Network.


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