Chicago, Ill.--The San José State volleyball team picked up a pair of wins on Friday at the Chicago State Tournament, defeating South Dakota State 3-2 (25-16, 23-25, 2-6-24, 24-26, 15-13) and host Chicago State 3-1 (17-25, 25-22, 25-17, 26-24) behind solid hitting from Sara Hibbs and Tyanna Roy in both matches.
Spartan head coach Jolene Shepardson picked up her first win at the helm of the San Jose State program with the hard-fought win over the Jackrabbits. The Spartans led from the first serve in set one. Neither team dominated the other in sets two through five as there were 16 lead changes and 26 tied scores in those four sets.
San Jose State took the lead for good in the final set at 14-13 on Roy's 14th kill of the night, and Nandyala Gama won the team's first match of the year with her 20th kill to win the fifth set 15-13.
Hibbs had a solid hitting match as she led all hitters with 21 kills and a .372 hitting percentage (21-5-43). Gama hit .250 with 20 kills on 44 attempts and nine errors. Roy rounded out the hitting with 14 kills. Jessica Oneto led the team in blocks with four, while Kalie Matthews and Hibbs each had three blocks.
Allison Meehan recorded her second double-double of the season with a season-highs of 56 assists and 15 digs. Yavianliz Rosado recorded a season-best 26 digs and added seven assists, two kills and an ace in the match.
"I am proud of the how well we handled the pressure today in the fifth set against South Dakota State," said Shepardson. "We know now that we not only can come out aggressive, but we can sustain pressure when our opponent challenges us. We had two great wins today and huge growth as a team."
Against Chicago State, Roy and Hibbs combined to hit .338, and Meehan had her second double-double of the day and third of the season San José State's 3-1 win. Roy led all hitters with 18 kills, while Hibbs hit .393 for the match with 15 kills on 28 attempts and only four errors.
Meehan again ran the offense with 34 assists and added 10 digs and two blocks. Matthews led the team with a season-best five blocks, two solo and three assists, while Gama added four blocks and eight kills. Rosado had a team-high 17 digs and three assists.
After losing the first set 25-17, the Spartans took control of the second set at 3-2 and never relinquished the lead to win 25-22 on a Hibbs kill. The two teams battled early in set three, but San Jose State opened up a lead and won 25-17. In the final set, San Jose State trailed 21-15 before scoring eight consecutive points on Meehan's serving to take a 23-21 lead. The team had match point three times before Roy gave the Spartans the lead for good on her 18th kill of the match in the 26-24 win.
San Jose State looks to continue its winning streak at the Chicago State Tournament on Saturday with matches against Grand Canyon at 10 a.m. CDT/8 a.m. PDT and UMass Lowell at 5 p.m. CDT/3 p.m. PDT.
Chicago State Tournament
San Jose State def. South Dakota State - 3-2 (25-16, 23-25, 26-24, 24-25, 15-13.)
South Dakota State - Wagner Larson 12; Ashley Beaner 11.
Records - San Jose State 1-9; South Dakota State 4-9
San Jose State def. Chicago State - 3-1 (17-25, 25-22, 25-17, 26-24.)
CSU - Elli Woinowsky 14; E. Jackson-Jones 11.
Records - San Jose State 2-9; Chicago State 5-8.
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