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Roadrunners prep for grind of conference play

By Johnathan Wheatley 



Members of the CSUB volleyball team participate in drills at practice. The Roadrunners will begin conference play on Sept. 21 at Chicago State University.
Photo by Skylar Carrasco/The Runner

  Already ahead of last year’s total non-conference wins, CSU Bakersfield women’s volleyball team is looking to keep the momentum rolling.

  At this time last year, CSUB volleyball had only accumulated one non-conference win and by the end of the non-conference schedule, the team tallied three total wins. 

  This year they have achieved four non-conference wins with many more to play, according to

  With a complete sweep of the Hampton Inn Jackrabbits Invitational in South Dakota, against the University of Valparaiso, South Dakota State University and Northern Arizona Universty, the team’s confidence only keeps rising as the season just only begins.

  At the time of this publication, the Roadrunners had not yet played their game against Fresno State on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

  The CSUB volleyball team only has one home game in their first 14 games, including three tournaments in three different states, South Dakota, Arizona, and California. 

  With traveling being an everyday commodity, something they can take out of these games is their grit. 

  When speaking with freshman outside hitter Desiree Sukhov, she said, “We were tired game three of the tournament and even game two. Winning those games showed just how much grit and competitiveness this team has.” 

  Sukhov reached a double-double in game two of the South Dakota tournament against South Dakota State with 14 digs and 12 kills. 

  It is exactly what redshirt-senior middle blocker Sydney Haynes expects.

  “We expect to put forth as much effort as we can in every game and every second we are on the court. This team shows every second that we are out there, that we give it all we have,” said Haynes. 

  When you put everything on the line, you bring out another level of completeness.
  “This is the most competitive team I have played for, we make each other better, I have high expectations and I believe we can make it far,” said Haynes.

  Haynes put up 242 kills and 56 blocks in her red-shirt-junior season.

  “I want to see where they can go. I believe this group of girls can get to a level we have never been before. This is an exciting young team, and we are excited for the season to come,” said CSUB coach Giovana Melo. 

  The past two years, The Roadrunners have been the dominant team in the WAC, posting a 10-4 record in each season, according to

  However, CSUB has fallen in the semifinals of the WAC Tournament each of the last two seasons.

  The Roadrunners will need to replace the 2016 WAC Player of the Year Carol Grasso. Grasso, who paced the conference in kills a season ago with 405. She also led the team in service aces.

  Expectations are high for the CSUB volleyball team as they look to continue their dominate play in the non-conference schedule and continued dominance of the WAC.

  The Roadrunners end their non-conference schedule with three games at the University of California, Irvine Invitational from Sept. 15 to 16. 

  They are scheduled to begin conference play on Thursday Sept. 21 at Chicago State University.