Volleyball falls twice at Aztec Classic

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SAN DIEGO- The San Diego State volleyball team went empty in its first two games of the Aztec Classic on Friday, losing a 3-1 decision to Maryland (14-25, 25-21, 20 -25, 18-25) before undergoing a scan. at the hands of Arizona at the last drink (17-25, 15-25, 11-25).

On a rare Friday morning, the Terrapins maintained the statistical advantage in most categories, including kills (50-41), service aces (12-7) and team blocks (11). .0 to 5.0) to help fuel their win. Additionally, Maryland beat the Aztecs .289 to .179, posting a .462 clip in the first set after knocking down 14 kills in 26 attempts with just two errors to help set the tone for the contest.

Individually, the SDSU was led by Heipua Tautua’a (.300), who just missed his third double-double of the year after hitting a team-best 14 kills to go with nine digs. In addition, Mikela Labno and Julia Haynie recorded eight storages each, while Ellie Geoghegan recorded double-digit digs for the third straight game with 12 balls down the back row.

The Aztec cause was also advanced by by Noa Miller 17 assists and two serving aces, sharing assisting duties with Sarana Gonzalez (7 assists), who managed three aces alone, while Reagan Mark also served two of his own. net, Kayla Rivera (5 kills) finished with three assists, tying Haynie for team honors in saves, the latter providing a solo save.

SDSU found themselves in chase mode throughout the first set, but quickly turned it around in the second stanza, limiting Maryland to their game-low 0.105 attacking percentage after the visitors failed. managed only 11 kills on 38 shots with seven errors.

The Aztecs held on to a series of three-point leads, including a 19-16 advantage after an attacking error from Terps. However, Maryland picked up three straight points to forge the sixth tie of the set before SDSU jumped ahead to stay at 20-19 after a Elly Schrader kill. The Scarlet and Black quickly held the visitors at bay with kills from Labno, Rivera and Tautua’a, the latter providing the decisive advantage to level the match at one set apiece.

The third frame was equally competitive with both teams witnessing eight draws and five substitutions. Merk’s two service aces gave the host school a narrow 20-19 advantage. However, the Terps responded with a 6-0 closing run to escape. Laila Ivey took the lead at this point with two kills and a combination block with Rainelle Jones.

Stung, the Aztecs couldn’t keep pace with Maryland in the fourth set, as the visitors hit .500 during the frame on 14 kills from 22 attempts with just three errors, while SDSU only managed eight kills in that span.

After falling behind early by a 3-1 count, Rivera joined forces with Schrader and Haynie on a pair of blocks after a kill to help the Aztecs tie the score at 4-4. However, Sydney Dowler threw a pair of unreturnable ones, while Erin Engel followed with back-to-back aces to blow the Terps up front for good at 9-5.

Maryland’s lead climbed to 20-11 after another Dowler kill and an errant SDSU set. The Aztecs responded with a 7-2 push to close the gap to 22-18, as a Labno put-away punctuated the run. However, two Laila Ricks kills sandwiched around an offensive error derailed SDSU’s momentum and secured the game for the Terps.

Sam Csire led all players with 18 eliminations, while Ivey (.333, 13 eliminations) and Ricks (.421, 11 eliminations) finished in double digits in the match. Additionally, Milan Gomillion (14 digs) served five aces, while Dowler (33 assists) and Engel had three apiece. At net, Anastasia Russ had seven total blocks, including a solo save to anchor Maryland’s effort at net.

Against Arizona, the Aztecs were unable to right the ship, as the Wildcats maintained a .438 hit percentage compared to SDSU’s .138 clip.

Arizona had a sizable 42-28 advantage in playoffs and a 7.0-4.0 advantage in team blocks while boasting 15 Aztec offensive errors to complete the sweep.

Madison Corf (9) and Tautua’a (7) combined for 16 of SDSU’s 28 eliminations, but no other player has had more than three for the hosts.

Conversely, the Wildcats were led by Jaelyn Hodge (.444), who recorded a game-high 15 kills, while Puk Stubbe finished with 11 discards on 20 error-free swings for hitting percentage. of .550.

Defensively, Arizona was paced with all six assists from Alayna Johnson, while Hodge totaled four. Elsewhere, Emery Herman dished out 33 assists and had eight digs to go with three aces, while Sofia Maldonado Diaz (7 kills), Ana Heath and Dilara Gedikoglu served two apiece.

The opening set was the tightest, as the teams combined for eight draws and three lead changes. The Aztecs held on to a pair of one-point leads halfway through the frame, including a 14-13 advantage after a Corf kill. However, the Wildcats responded with a 7-0 blitz to take control. Hodge had three kills during that streak, while Stubbe added two timeouts after an ace from Herman.

Buoyed by their good fortune, Arizona made just one offensive error in each of the final two sets to freeze the match. The Wildcats hit .453 on 26 combined kills on 53 hits, while the Scarlet and Black hit .104 efficiency in that span (20-13-67).

San Diego State (2-6) is looking to end its weekend on a high note Saturday when it wraps up the Aztec Classic with a showdown against Sacramento State (2-6), starting at 2:30 p.m. PT . The Hornets lost a close 3-2 decision to Arizona on Friday afternoon before falling to Maryland in four sets.

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