Dogs fall to Lobos on Senior Day


The Breakdown

The 'Dogs finish the season 12-14 overall and tie for seventh in the Mountain West with Wyoming.

Seniors Desiree Sukhov and Savanah Smith led the Bulldogs with 14 and nine kills, respectively.

FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State volleyball team fell in four sets to New Mexico on Saturday afternoon at the Save Mart Center.

With the Bulldogs celebrating Sukhov, Smith, Rebecca Rendahl, Moana To’oto’o and Julia Handy prior to the match for Senior Day, Fresno State (12-14, 8-10 MW) dropped sets 15-25, 25-16, 22-25, 17-25 to New Mexico (20-9, 11-7 MW).

How It Happened

The opening set saw back-to-back kills by Mikayla Weiss and Smith get the 'Dogs within two at 10-8, but the Lobos responded with a 12-4 run to take a 22-12 lead and would win the set by 10.

The Bulldogs responded with a strong second set jumping out to a 10-5 lead after a solo block by Kasey Purry. A solo block by Grace Doyle followed by an attack error by the Lobos and a kill by Sukhov gave the 'Dogs their largest lead of the set at 22-12 as they went on for a nine-point win to tie the match at one set apiece.

The third set saw the 'Dogs stay close trailing only 15-13 at the media timeout and they kept it within three at 22-19 after a kill by Preslee Lillard. After a setting error by the 'Dogs, the Bulldogs ripped off three straight points getting a kill by Sukhov and a pair of aces from Weiss to cut the Lobos' lead to one at 23-22. A timeout by the Lobos allowed the visitors the collection they needed as they scored the final two points of the set for the 25-22 set win.

Another back-and-forth set in the fourth saw the 'Dogs only trail 15-14 after a solo block by Doyle. A 6-1 run for the Lobos gave UNM a six-point lead and after a kill by Ella Rud got the 'Dogs within five, New Mexico scored the final three points to complete the win.

Notables

The 'Dogs finish the season with a 8-4 home record for their most wins at home since 2018.

It was only the Bulldogs second home loss to New Mexico in 10 matches against the Lobos in Fresno since moving to the Mountain West in 2012.

Sukhov led the 'Dogs this season in kills (278), service aces (39) & digs (216), Weiss was the leader in assists (592) and Doyle led the way with 97 blocks.

Sukhov finishes her career with 787 kills, 562 digs, 102 blocks and 95 service aces and will sit second in program history in career aces per set (0.40) and ninth in kills per set (3.29).

Doyle finishes the season with a .357 hitting percentage and 195 kills to register the second-best single-season hitting percentage (min. 100 kills) in program history trailing only Brianna Clarke (2010 - .365).

Rud finishes fourth among Bulldog freshman with 30 service aces.

Quotes

Head Coach Jonathan Winder

On today's match against the Lobos.....

"New Mexico is a quality team and they had a pair of players score a majority of their points and we had a hard time slowing them down and missed a few opportunities."

On the 'Dogs five seniors...

"They have all contributed in different ways over the years and it is pretty unique in that all five were transfers and in the midst of the pandemic, I thought they all battled over the years and really allowed us to play volleyball at a high level. It did not always go the way they wanted it to, but I thought they did their best and fought and really established some good cultural values with our team and they care for each other really well and the culture around the team is really good off the court. I thought they really established some good standards like how hard we want to play and what to do in the summer time when nobody is watching, they really showed some leadership in all parts."