Aztecs Prep for Two Matches This Week vs. UCLA, USD

This page was created programmatically, to read the article in its original location you can go to the link bellow:
https://goaztecs.com/news/2022/9/14/womens-volleyball-aztecs-prep-for-two-matches-this-week-vs-ucla-usd.aspx
and if you want to remove this article from our site please contact us


SAN DIEGO — The San Diego State volleyball program wraps up its non-conference schedule this week when it co-hosts the three-team SDSU/USD Challenge, which also features UCLA for the second year in a row.

The Aztecs will play host to the Bruins on Thursday, Sept. 15, starting at 7 p.m. PT, before traveling down Interstate 8 two days later for their annual clash with the Toreros at USD’s Jenny Craig Pavilion on Sept. 17, beginning at 6 p.m.

Both matches will feature live stats, with the SDSU-UCLA showdown streaming live via the Mountain West Network on GoAztecs.com.

The first 250 fans in attendance for the Aztecs-Bruins encounter will receive a free SDSU Volleyball T-shirt.

The Scarlet and Black will also christen a brand new playing surface for the UCLA match on Thursday. SDSU last unveiled a new floor in time for the 2014 campaign, with its home volleyball facility earning the official name of Aztec Court at Peterson Gym.

SERIES RECORD VS. UCLA

>    SDSU has faced UCLA 55 times in the program’s varsity history since 1976, posting a 12-43 record. The Aztecs have lost 13 straight to the Bruins dating back to 1986, when they won both encounters in a home-and-away series. 

>    Thursday’s match marks UCLA’s second straight visit to Aztec Court at Peterson Gym and only the Bruins’ third since 1997.

>    Last season, then-No. 16 UCLA claimed a three-set decision (25-17, 25-18, 25-13) over the Aztecs on Sept. 10, 2021.

>    Among SDSU’s 2022 returners, Heipua Tautua’a blasted seven kills in that match to go with two block assists, while Noa Miller handed out 17 assists.

>    In that contest, the Aztecs kept within striking distance in each of the first two sets; however, the Bruins used an efficient attack, timely runs and a tight defense to keep the host school at bay.

>    Statistically, SDSU was outhit .346 to .056 for the match, while UCLA maintained the advantage in kills (39-28), team blocks (13.0-7.0) and digs (29-27) to help key its victory.

SERIES RECORD VS. SAN DIEGO

>    SDSU trails the all-time series vs. San Diego, 27-32, after falling in four sets (25-20, 20-25, 20-25, 18-25) at Aztec Court last season on Sept. 11, 2021.

>    Among SDSU returners, Mikela Labno posted 11 kills in that match, while Heipua Tautua’a logged her second career double-double with 10 put-aways of her own to go with 12 digs. 

>    In addition, setter Noa Miller accomplished the same feat for the first time in a Scarlet and Black uniform after finishing with 28 assists and 11 digs, while Sara Mukaj came up with three block assists. 

>     Collectively, the Aztecs maintained the upper hand in kills (57-49) and digs (63-51) but were plagued by 27 attack errors and trailed in team blocks (15.0-7.0).

>    SDSU hit .203 for the match but ran out of steam in the final two sets when it posted a collective .129 efficiency.

>    The No. 8 position in the latest AVCA poll marks the highest-ranked Torero squad the Aztecs will have faced since Sept. 20, 2016, when the Aztecs dropped a hard-fought three-setter (21-25, 19-25, 24-26) to No. 7 USD at Peterson Gym.

>    SDSU will be looking to put the brakes on an eight-match slide to the Toreros at Jenny Craig Pavilion. The Aztecs were last victorious on USD’s home floor in 2003 during the 30-point scoring era when they pulled off a reverse sweep over the No. 18 Toreros to prevail in five sets (23-30, 23-30, 30-24, 30-25, 15-11).

TOURNAMENT CONNECTIONS

>    Saturday’s match against USD marks Brent Hilliard‘s second encounter against his former team after accepting the head coaching position at SDSU in January 2020. Hilliard was an assistant with the Toreros for 19 years, serving as the program’s associate head coach from 2007-19. 

>    San Diego State middle blocker Elly Schraeder played two seasons at USD in the spring and fall of 2021.

ON THE HORIZON

>    Following Saturday’s match, San Diego State opens Mountain West play next week when it plays host to San José State (Sept. 22) and Nevada (Sept. 24). The Aztecs-Spartans clash will be streamed live via the Mountain West Network. 

SDSU IN MW RANKINGS

>    Entering the weekend, Noa Miller ranks seventh in the conference in services aces (0.44/set), while Sarena Gonzalez is slotted in the 10th position with 5.48 assists per set.

>    As a team, the Aztecs occupy the sixth and seventh spots in the conference, respectively, in assists (11.65/set) and kills (12.35/set). 

>    Miller’s six service aces against UC San Diego is tied for the highest total in the Mountain West this season and marks the most by an SDSU player since Ashlynn Dunbar served up six of her own vs. Colorado State on Sept. 27, 2018. Dunbar also finished with seven service aces against CSU Bakersfield in the 2018 season opener.

>    Meanwhile, Elly Schraeder’s nine overall blocks vs. Army West Point is tied for the third-best figure in the conference this year and represents the most by an SDSU competitor since Lexie Hamrick’s 11 rejections vs. UTEP on Sept. 15, 2018.

>    Kayla Rivera’s .647 hitting percentage vs. Pepperdine on Sept. 3 is tied for the second-best efficiency in the MW this season.

>    Ellie Geoghegan’s 23 digs vs. Sacramento State on Sept. 10 are tied for third-best total in a five-set match in the conference this year.

NEWCOMERS SHINE

>    Seven of eight Aztec newcomers have seen action for the Scarlet and Black this season, with several providing key contributions through nine matches. 

>    Freshman Madison Corf has started seven of nine matches and ranks second on the team in kills (2.33/set) and fourth in blocks (0.33/set). A former AVCA Prep All-American from Kansas City, Missouri, tied two season bests with 15 kills and seven digs in the Scarlet and Black’s narrow 3-2 setback to Sacramento State at the Aztec Classic. In SDSU’s  three-set triumph over UC San Diego, Corf blasted 15 kills and finished with a .303 efficiency to go with a pair of blocks, including a solo stuff. She also reached the double-digit kill plateau with 11 non-returnables vs. No. 9 Baylor at the Pepperdine ASICS Classic before closing the tournament seven digs vs. UC Santa Barbara.

>    Freshman defensive specialist Ellie Geoghegan has taken over the team lead with 96 digs overall including 79 in her last five matches (4.16/set), highlighted by a season-high 23 scoops vs. Sacramento State. The Manhattan Beach product made her first collegiate start a memorable one, posting seven digs, two service aces and a pair of setting assists in the Aztecs’ 3-1 triumph over Army West Point.

>    A senior transfer from Georgia, Kayla Rivera has started all nine matches for SDSU and ranks second on the team with 23 total blocks while occupying the fourth spot in kills (1.97/set.  The Aztec opposite hitter was named to the all-tournament team at the Pepperdine ASICS Classic after posting 29 kills and a .313 hitting percentage, including a career-best .647 clip (12-1-17) vs. the host Waves. She also established a personal best with seven block assists vs. Army West Point at the SDSU Invitational.

>    In her first season on The Mesa after transferring from USD, sophomore middle blocker Elly Schraeder has started all nine matches for the Scarlet and Black, compiling a team-high 30 blocks (0.94/set). The Athlol, Idaho, native flashed her versatility against Army West Point, logging a career-high nine blocks, including a solo stuff, while hitting .375 on eight kills in 16 swings with just two errors.

>    As previously mentioned, freshman setter Sarena Gonzalez is averaging 5.48 assists per set, which ranks 10th in the Mountain West as of Sept. 14. A starter in eight of nine matches, the Temecula product has dished at least 20 assists in five appearances, including a season-high 30 helpers vs. UCSD on Aug. 27. In addition, Gonzalez has 30 digs (0.97/set) and six aces (0.19/set) this season, the latter of which ranks third on the team. In the fourth set against Maryland at the Aztec Classic, she twirled three aces on consecutive serves.

>    A starter in seven of eight appearances, freshman middle blocker Kat Cooper is slotted second on the team with 0.74 blocks per set and ranks third with 17 total blocks. A former AVCA Prep All-American, Cooper enjoyed a breakout performance against UC San Diego at the SDSU Invitational when she hit .600 on seven kills in 10 attempts against just one error while adding five blocks (1 solo) and five digs. Earlier that day, the Springdale, Arkansas, native recorded five additional blocks (1 solo) vs. Army West Point.

>    Freshman McKenna Douglas has missed the last five matches after amassing 43 digs (2.87/set) in her first four outings. The Phoenix, Arizona, native finished with a match-high 19 digs against UC San Diego after posting 14 scoops earlier in the day vs. Army West Point. She has also contributed 14 setting assists and a pair of aces so far this year.

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION

>     After splitting two matches last week, UCLA (5-2) dropped out of the 22nd spot in the AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll released Sept. 12. The Bruins lost in straight sets (24-26, 20-25, 19-25) at Loyola Marymount on Sept. 8, before rebounding with a 3-1 decision (14-25, 20-25, 26-24, 25-17) over Mountain West member San José State the following night in a neutral-site match played at  LMU’s Gersten Pavilion. Entering the week, UCLA occupies the third spot in the country with a Pac-12-leading 3.08 blocks per set as a team, trailing only Maryland (3.21) and Wisconsin (3.14). In addition, Bruin opponents are collectively hitting just .125, which ranks third in the conference and seventh nationally.  UCLA is also slotted fifth in the Pac-12 with 1.72 service aces per set. However, the Bruins rank only 11th in the league in both hitting percentage (.125) and kills (12.52/set) . Offensively, the Bruins sport four players who are averaging over two kills per set, including outside hitters élan McCall (2.88) and Grayce Olson (2.67), along with middle blocker Anna Dodson (2.36) and opposite hitter Iman Ndiaye (2.28). At the net, Francesca Alupei ranks third in the Pac-12 with 1.46 blocks per set, which is tied for 23rd nationally, while Dodson and Ndiaye are both averaging one block per frame.  At the setter position, fifth-year senior Matti McKissock leads the team with 9.75 assists per set, while McCall (2.80/set) and libero Mackenzie Cole top the squad in digs.

>    San Diego (7-1) climbed four spots into the No. 8 position in the latest AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll after winning all three matches at home last weekend in the USD Invitational. The Toreros swept SMU (25-22, 25-12, 25-17) and Connecticut (25-15, 25-12, 25-22) on Sept. 9 before outlasting Utah in five sets (22-25, 25-15, 25-18, 17-25, 15-9) in their tournament finale the following day. Prior to its showdown with the Aztecs, USD will square off against UCLA at Jenny Craig Pavilion on Friday night. The Toreros lead the West Coast Conference with a .161 opponent hitting percentage, which ranks 44th nationally as of Sept. 14. In addition, USD finds itself among the top half of the league in most statistical categories, including hitting percentage (3rd, .252), blocks (3rd, 2.72/set), service aces (4th, 1.59/set), digs (4th, 13.69/set) and kills (5th, 12.86). Individually, middle blocker Leyla Blackwell ranks second in the country with 1.83 kills per set, while setter Gabby Blossom occupies the 26th spot nationally with a conference-leading 10.55 assists per set. USD sports three players among the WCC top 10 in kills, including opposite hitter Grace Frohling (6th, 3.24/set) followed immediately by outside hitters Breana Edwards (7th, 3.14/set) and Katie Lukes (8th, 3.07set). Frohling is also slotted eighth in the league with a .341 hitting percentage, while libero Annie Benbow tops the squad in digs (3.52/set). 

 


This page was created programmatically, to read the article in its original location you can go to the link bellow:
https://goaztecs.com/news/2022/9/14/womens-volleyball-aztecs-prep-for-two-matches-this-week-vs-ucla-usd.aspx
and if you want to remove this article from our site please contact us

Leave a Reply

You have to agree to the comment policy.

seven + 15 =