Roadrunners fall in straight sets to Aggies


CSUB redshirt-sophomore middle hitter Marina Sanches prepares to spike the ball during the 2016 season against Grand Canyon University at the Icardo Center. Photo by Allison Lechman/The Runner

Peter Castillo



The CSU Bakersfield volleyball team was swept 3-0 in a home match against Western Athletic Conference rival New Mexico State University Thursday at the Icardo Center.

Although NMSU (12-4, 3-0 WAC) won the match in straight sets, the final scores were not indicative of how competitive this match actually was.

The match featured 20 ties and nine lead changes over the three sets.

“I actually think we played very well; we just need to be more consistent. We let them get on a lot of runs,” said redshirt-junior middle hitter Sydney Haynes about the team’s performance.

The first set alone had 10 ties and 4 lead changes.

With the score tied at 24, NMSU scored back-to-back points to win the set, 26-24.

After the Aggies jumped out to an early lead in the second set, CSUB (4-11, 1-1 WAC) used a 6-1 run to take a 12-10 lead in the second set. The score was tied at 18. However, the Aggies went on a 7-2 run to close out the set and take a 2-0 lead.

NMSU had a distinctive height advantage over CSUB at the net.

Redshirt-freshman middle blocker Megan Hart, who is listed at six feet five inches tall, helped anchor the Aggies’ defense.

The Roadrunners held a 14-11 lead in the third set on the strength of three consecutive service aces by senior outside hitter Carol Grasso.

Grasso was one of the lone bright spots for the Roadrunners on Thursday.

She nearly recorded a triple-double with 11 kills, 9 digs and 7 service aces. The service aces set a school record for most service aces in a three-set match.

“I’ve been practicing on it a lot. I was using during my freshman year, but I stopped, and then I brought it back this year, I just need to be consistent with it,” said Grasso about utilizing a jump serve that was highly effective for her on Thursday.

However, NMSU closed the third set with a 14-5 run, thanks to its defense, to claim the third set and clinch the victory.

“We didn’t play well today. We didn’t compete as well as we have been lately,” said coach Giovana Melo following her team’s loss.

The Roadrunners combined for a .080 hitting percentage on the evening.

CSUB has a quick turnaround as it hosts the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley at the Icardo Center Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.