With young players, one of the many challenges is to get them to close-out games and play to win to gain confidence. After an epic third-set, the Cal State Stanislaus volleyball team took a big step forward in upsetting Hawaii Pacific in straight sets.
Holding off a furious comeback by HPU, the Warriors out-lasted their opponents in a 25-19, 25-19, 30-28 victory Saturday afternoon at the Seawolf Spike, hosted by Sonoma State.
The Warriors followed the win up with another thrilling victory in the late afternoon match with a five-set, 21-25, 25-21, 26-24, 25-27, 15-4, win over Dominican to go 2-0 on the day to improve to 3-5 overall.
"It was a great day for a young team as we prepare to open-up conference play on Wednesday," head coach Chris Lore said. "I am very proud of our team for starting and finishing strong in these two matches."
Against HPU (5-2), three Warriors had double-digit in kills with Blair Ehrlich leading the way with 12 kills. Jocelyn Cervantes had 11 and Paige Walker chipped in 10. Ehrlich also had 16 digs to go with 35 digs by libero Sarah Crowl.
Jordan Harris recorded seven total blocks and setter Hannah Green dished 35 assists, before an encore performance of 52 assists in the afternoon match against Dominican.
Crowl's 35 dig performance, which came in three sets, tied the Stanislaus single match record set by Megan Britton set on Sept. 1, 2007 at BYU Hawaii - a five-set match. Crowl currently leads the CCAA with 5.71 digs per game.
Against Dominican (1-7), Cervantes exploded for 18 kills to lead the Warriors. She had five of her kills in the fifth set, including four consecutive points. Walker added 14 and Ehrlich had 11 kills against the Penguins.
Taylor Massengale, another freshman, stuffed a total of seven blocks with two solos. Jaclyn Pinasco also contributed defensively with 18 digs and Walker dug-up 16 attacks.
Cal State Stanislaus, the road Warriors, will again play away from Fitzpatrick Arena next week. They open CCAA play on Wednesday at Chico State before visiting Cal State East Bay and Cal State Monterey Bay over the weekend. The Warriors will finally play in front of their home crowd on Sept. 27.