In comeback fashion, Roadrunners win seventh straight


Photo by Denise Chavez

Peter Castillo


In making a comeback of its own, the CSU Bakersfield volleyball team held off a valiant come-from-behind effort from Western Athletic Conference foe Utah Valley University, winning in five sets to extend its winning streak to seven matches.

“I saw a lot of heart, definitely,” said Director of Volleyball Giovana Melo about her team’s performance. “Volleyball is about momentum and we got one good play in that fifth set that turned it around and helped us comeback.”

Trailing 8-3 in the fifth set CSUB (10-6, 3-0 WAC) battled back to even it up 8. After the Wolverines (8-9, 0-4 WAC) took a 13-11 lead, the Roadrunners reeled off a 5-1 run to close out the win. The late spurt was highlighted by a key block by sophomore setter Emily Hansen.

“A lot of people underestimate Emily just because of the size of her and to see her step in there and do that it just really makes everyone proud,” said senior middle blocker Mattison Degarmo about her and Hansen’s block.

CSUB led two sets to none going into halftime, winning the first two sets by identical scores of 25-23.

In the first set, UVU jumped out to a 4-0 lead before the Roadrunners went off on a 15-7 run. The Wolverines closed to within one point on several occasions but a kill by redshirt-freshman Brooke Boiseau put it away for the Roadrunners.

The second set featured 14 ties and six lead changes. Utah Valley again got out to an early lead but it was short-lived. With the score tied at 23, CSUB rattled off three straight points to close out the set.

Looking to complete the sweep, the Roadrunners went out to 11-7 lead until UVU went on a 12-6 run of its own.

Trailing 23-17, CSUB took seven of the next eight points to tie it up at 24. The Wolverines won the next two points to force a fourth set.

“When we came back in that set, I honestly thought we were going to pull away and were going to win, but I think there were some calls there that got into their mind,” said Melo. “I was frustrated and they were frustrated and we weren’t able to come back from a bad call.”

Utah Valley led throughout a closely-contested fourth set which it won 25-21 to send it to a fifth and deciding set.

Sophomore libero Krista Hernandez compiled 37 digs in the win, which was a CSUB record for a five-set match. She also added five assists and a pair of service aces.

“It’s exciting,” said Hernandez on her record-breaking performance. “I love going down and getting the digs because I know my team is going to put it away.”

Desiree Suhkov, a sophomore outside hitter, and freshman setter Leisa Elisaia each tallied a double-double for CSUB. Suhkov finished with 17 kills and 11 digs, while Elisaia had 24 assists along with 12 digs of her own.

“It’s a good step for us when everyone steps up and does their job,” said Hernandez. “It’s exciting and we’re all so supportive of each other and that will help us as we progress through the season.”

Utah Valley played five sets for the eighth time in its last nine matches.

Up next, the Roadrunners are scheduled to take on California Baptist University (11-5, 2-2) in Riverside on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 1 p.m.

“It’s always fun to go play a new team and be able to create a new rivalry between our school and theirs,” said Degarmo about the upcoming matchup. “The WAC is a very competitive conference and there’s a lot of backstories that we come in and hear about with all the different teams.”

Photo by Denise Chavez / The Runner