Volleyball team sweeps Humboldt State
November 8, 2010 2:28 AM
The SF State women's volleyball team started off the month of November in the comfort of their own home, and with a win.
Coming off a short rest, the Gators pulled out the broom and brushed away the memories of the recent loss against Cal State Monterey Bay on Nov. 2. They also swept Humboldt State University 3-0 -- something the Gators haven't done since their win over CSU Dominguez Hills on Sept. 24.
"We came in and knew we had to take care of them in three games," said head coach Michelle Patton. "That was our goal."
The Gators have been on the road the last two weeks and have only won two of their last five matches. Winning strong at home was the boost the team needed as they prepare to finish out their season next week at home.
SF State had no trouble exposing Humboldt State's weakness as they constantly overpowered their defense. The Gators also scored 52 kills compared to the 27 that the Lumberjacks scored throughout all three sets.
The match, however, almost did not end in three games.
At one point in the third set, the Gators were up 10-2. Coach Patton sent in players from the bench, but the Lumberjacks picked up their attack and slowly crept up to the Gators, who had a difficult time getting back into their rhythm with the score tied 24-24.
"I think we got a little bit relaxed," senior middle hitter Sarah Lewis said. "We didn't stay on task as a team."
Humboldt State showed that they had no intention of being shut out and tied the third set three different times, preventing the defeat. They pulled ahead 25-26, their first lead in the third game and the first time they led over the Gators since the first set.
"Every team in this conference has the ability to fight," said junior middle hitter Halimah Oswald. "Every team has the ability to beat any other team."
Despite the fight the Lumberjacks put up, the Gators scored off a serve error as junior middle hitter Robyn Hall sealed the game with a kill as the third set finished in favor of the Gators 29-27.
"It's tough to beat anyone in three, especially at the end of the season," Patton said. "They were prepared to do that and fought for it. They deserved the win."
One reason the Gators were able to win three straight sets was because of Lewis' attack. She played a bigger role as she attacked from all sides of the court and set a career-high 15 kills.
"It's just about getting up and being available," Lewis said. "There are gaps. Especially as a middle hitter, you just have to find the gaps."
The Gators have dropped three spots in the NCAA Division II West Region poll of the season and now rank 10th. Only the top eight teams in each of the regions can qualify for postseason regional play.
"The West Region is extremely difficult," Lewis said. "Everyone is gunning for the playoff. If you slip a little bit, then you can be out. We just want to make sure we stay on our game, take care of what we need to take care of."
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