By Johnathan Wheatley
In the first game of a two-game home stand, the CSU Bakersfield volleyball team (16-12, 9-4 WAC) outlasted the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in five sets in a Western Athletic Conference matchup. (15-11, 9-4 WAC).
Earlier in the year, UTRGV (15-11, 9-4 WAC) defeated CSUB (16-12, 9-4 WAC) in Edinburg, Texas, 3-1.
With the win the Roadrunners move into a tie for second place in the WAC.
“I love the battle”, said CSUB Director of Volleyball Giovanna Melo about the emotional win “I love the heart that they have, they never gave up.”
The first set began with a UTRGV kill. Both teams battled for some type of advantage and expand their lead by more than a point.
The Vaqueros took a 10-7 lead, but would be short lived as the Roadrunners went on a 8-1 run and take the lead 15-11.
CSUB maintained the lead throughout the first set and stopped a UTRGV comeback. The Roadrunners went on to win the first set, 25-22.
In the second set, the Vaqueros got the opening point and never looked back.
The Roadrunners staged a comeback late, but fell short at 23-21. UTRGV went on to win the set, 25-22.
After halftime, CSUB dominated the third set by getting kills from redshirt-senior middle blocker Sydney Haynes and sophomore right side middle blocker Mattison Degarmo.
The Roadrunners jumped out with a 3-0 lead.
Both Haynes and Degarmo added 12 kills to the Roadrunners total.
“I’m pumped, the team is pumped”, said Degarmo. “It was a really good team win”.
CSUB kept their foot on the gas and ended the set on an 8-2 run, winning the set, 25-15.
In the fourth set, neither team could pull away from the other until late. The set had 18 ties and 7 lead changes.
With the score tied at 20, UTRGV got the break they needed and take the set 25-20, ending the set on a 5-0 run.
The fifth set started with the Vaqueros taking an early 3-0 lead.
A kill by Haynes would get the Roadrunners on the board. They wouldn’t stop there and continue scoring as they went on a 7-0 run to take a 7-3 lead.
UTRGV battled back and tie the game at 13. A kill by Haynes and an attack error by the Vaqueros gave the Roadrunners the set and match victory.
Senior outside hitter Aleksandra Djordjevic and redshirt-sophomore Sidney Hicks both reached a double-double. 15 kills, 3 blocks and 12 digs for Djordjevic, while Wicks added 37 assists and 11 digs.
“If we can fight like this in every game, we will win” said Haynes on what this win shows.
CSUB will conclude its regular season on senior day as they will take on New Mexico State University (20-7, 11-2 WAC) on Saturday, Nov. 11 at noon.