By Esteban Ramirez
It was a familiar recipe of success for the CSU Bakersfield volleyball team.
For the third straight game, senior outside hitter Kelsee Sawyer led the team in kills and led the Roadrunners to a third-straight victory as they swept Grand Canyon University 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 26-24) at the Icardo Center on Oct. 24.
Sawyer finished with 15 kills and a hitting percentage of .438 against GCU.
“It’s my last year and my time is running out, and I just think I go hard every time no matter what,” Sawyer said about her performances. “I don’t think about it too much and just give it my all.”
Sawyer is coming off performances against Chicago State on Oct. 15 in which she hit a school record of .722 and against the University of Missouri-Kansas City on Oct. 17 in which she had 23 kills.
CSUB director of volleyball Giovana Melo said that she thinks Sawyer has taken on a leadership role and has improved throughout the year.
“I thought we played decently well,” Melo said on the team’s performance against GCU. “I thought we were getting a little bit better throughout the match. They started to play in the third [set] a little bit better, so once they put the pressure, we were able to respond and continue to play well. I thought it was actually a pretty good match for us.”
The Roadrunners (8-12, 6-2 Western Athletic Conference) took control of the match from the first set. They fell behind early 3-0, but then went on a 17-5 run before GCU called a timeout.
CSUB closed out the set and won it 25-12. In the second set, CSUB took the lead from the start and really did not look back as it won 25-11.
The Roadrunners held the Antelopes to only four kills and a -.079 hitting percentage. GCU (4-16, 2-6 WAC) responded in the third set as the Antelopes took an 11-8 lead. However, the Roadrunners battled back and took a 25-24 lead before Sawyer’s last kill won the close third set for CSUB.
The third set had 11 ties and four lead changes.
Junior outside hitter Carol Grasso, who finished with 13 kills and team-high 14 digs, said that they struggled at the beginning of the third set because they weren’t serving as hard and passing as efficiently.
Senior setter Luiza Martins finished with 42 assists and 13 digs. Redshirt-sophomore middle blocker Sydney Haynes added 10 kills.
Redshirt-sophomore outside hitter Jordyn Sanchez led the Antelopes with 12 kills and eight digs.
CSUB will host Seattle University tomorrow in the Icardo Center at 7 p.m.