Aztecs Defeat Harvard in Four Sets in Home Debut
Sept. 13, 2013
SAN DIEOG, Calif. - The San Diego State volleyball team opened its home season in excellent fashion Friday evening as it defeated Harvard in four sets (25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 25-15) on Aztec Court in Peterson Gym. The match was SDSU's first contest in the annual Holiday Inn Mission Valley Aztec Invitational and one of three matches on the day.
The Aztecs (4-3) were led by junior outside hitter Michelle Waber, who turned in a career-high 18 kills along with three blocks and a .467 hitting percentage. Summer Nash added 15 kills, three service aces and a block while teammate Emily Harris chipped in with 14 kills and three blocks while hitting at a .550 clip.
Freshman Baylee Little saw her most extensive playing time of the young season subbing in for the injured Raegan Shelton. Little responded with seven kills, two blocks and a pair of digs, all season highs as were her eight points in the match.
Johnna Fouch recorded her fifth double-double in SDSU's first seven matches with 49 assists and 12 digs. In addition, Chaiymin Steel accounted for 9.5 points with four kills, five blocks and a career-high three service aces.
Harvard (2-1), meanwhile, did not have a player reach double figures in kills as it was led by six apiece from Kristen Casey and Jennifer Shults. As a team, the Crimson hit just .098 over the four sets while San Diego State turned in a season-best .347 attack percentage.
San Diego State got out of the blocks quickly as it took a 7-3 lead in the opening set. Harvard came back to within two at 8-6, but that as close as it would get the rest of the way, Waber led the Aztecs with five kills and the defense held the Crimson to a .000 attack percentage.
Set number two saw the teams battle to a 7-7 tie early on and then be separated by no more than two points the rest of the way. With the score knotted at 22-22, Harvard won back-to-back point before a service error got SDSU to thin one. But the Crimson then got a kill from Casey to take the set by the score of 25-23.
In the third set, with the score tied at 7-7, the Aztec ran off three straight points to take a lead they would not relinquish over the remainder of the contest. They built their advantage to as many as six points (23-17), closing out the set on a kill by Harris. Bash and Fouch led SDSU with four kills apiece in the contest.
In set four, San Diego State grabbed the early lead at 9-5 and then scored eight consecutive points behind the serving of Justine Ricigliano to go up 17-5 and take control of the contest. Nash and Waber had five kills apiece for the Aztecs with the latter getting the match winner.
San Diego State continues action at the Holiday Inn Mission Valley Aztec Invitational with a match against Northeastern on Saturday (Sept. 14) at noon on Aztec Court. SDSU will wrap up the tourney with a contest against San Francisco that evening at 7:30 p.m.
The complete tournament schedule with links for lives stats of every match along with box scores can be found by clicking here.