CSUB gets back on track with 3-1 win over UMKC


CSUB’s Kortney Freeland spikes the ball at the New Mexico State defense in a tight first set in 2015. Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

Esteban Ramirez



After two tough losses to New Mexico State and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley last week, the CSU Bakersfield volleyball team responded with a 3-1 (23-25, 25-20, 25-14, 25-22) victory over the University of Missouri-Kansas City in the Icardo Center on Thursday.

The Roadrunners (11-14, 9-4 Western Athletic Conference) led the first set 18-14 but the Kangaroos (13-12, 6-7 WAC) bounced back and took the first set 25-23.

However, CSUB responded and took the next three sets.

“I think it was a huge win,” CSUB Director of Volleyball Giovana Melo said. “It helped build our confidence again. It’s important to carry this to Saturday and then on to the [WAC] Tournament.

Melo said that she thought it was a completely different team than the one from last week.

CSUB’s junior outside hitter Carol Grasso finished with a double-double and a season-best 25 kills and 11 digs.

“I think we did awesome,” Grasso said. “The weekend we had last week was awful and rough for us but our team played together and the bench was awesome. [This game] was really important to get our confidence back, so it was a big win.”

In the second set, CSUB trailed UMKC 13-9, but the Roadrunners rallied behind their defense as they held the Kangaroos to .070 hitting and tied up the match.

In the third set, CSUB took an 18-14 lead and then went on a 7-0 run to win the set 25-14.

To start the fourth set, CSUB found itself trailing 3-0 and then, Melo started to argue a call with the officials and received a yellow card and then red card.

“I was fighting for my team,” she said. “That’s what I always do. I get a little fired up once things happen because they are playing as hard as they possibly can and I don’t think it’s really fair when they make some calls when they are not supposed to, especially when we are fighting so hard.”

However, Melo arguing with the officials, sparked the team as it battled back into the set and then won it 25-22 to take the match.

“It meant a lot,” she said on the fact that the team fought for her as well. “It was great. They know that I’m doing it for them, so it definitely felt good.”

Senior setter Luiza Martins had a double-double as well with 48 assists and 13 digs and senior outside hitter Kelsee Sawyer added 20 kills.

“It’s my last two games here on the court and I’m giving it all I have for my team and everyone watching,” Sawyer said.

Second place in the conference is still up for grabs between the Roadrunners and the Utah Valley Wolverines (14-12, 9-4 WAC).

CSUB will finish off regular-season play by hosting Chicago State University (1-25, 0-13 WAC) at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, while UVU will host first-place New Mexico State (24-5, 13-0 WAC) at 10 a.m.

Sawyer said that it is important for them to keep the number two spot in the standings, so that they get the bye at the WAC Tournament.

“It’s really sad,” Sawyer said on playing her final game at the Icardo Center on Saturday. “It’s hard because I’ve been here all four years but I’ve had all the greatest experiences I can so I’m blessed to play here one more time.”