By Johnathan Wheatley
In a back and forth match between the Fresno State Bulldogs and CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners, the Roadrunners would fall short, losing 3-2.
Just a week ago, the Roadrunners dropped straight sets against the team across the valley Fresno State, losing 3-0. They followed that performance by dropping all but one set in the Northern Arizona University Tournament.
The Roadrunners dominated the Bulldogs in all categories, except for serves.
CSUB coach Giovana Melo said, “This week in practice we focused on getting better in every skill.”, it was very prevalent in tonight’s game. The Roadrunners had 16 more points, 12 more kills, 15 more assists and 16 more digs.
In the first set the Roadrunners would get on the board first. The Roadrunners built their lead up to three at 10-7 in set number one when Fresno state takes their first timeout.
After the timeout, Fresno State would then go on an 11-4 run and take the lead at 18-14. The Roadrunners fell short in coming back as they lose the first set 23-25.
As the second set started, Fresno State took a commanding 5-1 lead over the runners. CSUB would answer back and take the lead 9-6 before Fresno state would call another timeout.
The Roadrunners kept on scoring as they would go on a 13-2 run to make the score 14-7. Fresno State tried to rally a comeback, but the Roadrunners shut the attempt down immediately and end the game on a 7-3 run, eventually winning the set 25-16.
The third set was back and forth. Neither team could separate themselves by more than two points in the beginning of the game. As the battle continues the set eventually gets to 20-20. Fresno state would go on a 5-1 run and win the set 25-21.
Set number four would be all CSUB, as they take the lead at 5-4 and never look back. Fresno would take a timeout after a huge kill by Briannah Mariner giving the runners a 15-11 lead. Mariner ended the night with 12 kills and attributed to this week’s practice, “We practice hitting high hands, considering the fact we were getting blocked low last game”, said Mariner.
The Roadrunners closed out the set on a 10-5 run to win the fourth set 25-16.
The fifth set begun with a Mariner kill, followed by three straight Fresno State points. The Roadrunners would come back to make it 4-4. Both teams would battle back and forth trying to find an edge against the other.
The Bulldogs would find themselves up 10-9 and would take a timeout. After that timeout, the Roadrunners would come back and tie the game a couple points later 13-13.
That is as close as CSUB would get, as a service error on the next point and a Fresno State put away would seal the deal for the Roadrunners. Fresno state would win the set 15-13 and win the match 3-2.
CSUB (4-7) will be back in action this weekend as they participate in the UC Irvine/Long Beach State invitational. They begin conference play Sept. 21 and will have their next home game Sept. 28.