The Humboldt State volleyball team huddles together before the start of their match against Cal State Bernardino on Sept. 21 at Lumberjack Arena. | Photo by Thomas Lal

Jacks Fall to Conference Leaders CSUSB

HSU Volleyball hopes to rest up after losing to CSUSB 40-19.
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HSU Volleyball hopes to rest up after losing to CSUSB 40-19

The Humboldt State volleyball team saw their current homestand end Saturday night with a loss to the number-one-ranked team in the nation, Cal State San Bernardino.

Outside hitter Summer Hansen knocks the ball across the net towards the opposition during Humboldt State’s match against CSUSB on Sept. 21 at Lumberjack Arena. | Photo by Thomas Lal

The Jacks lost all three sets and were out-killed 40-19 by the Coyotes on a night where they struggled to find a way to crack CSUSB’s tall front line. Humboldt’s scoring leader for the night was sophomore Lenox Loving, who managed to put up eight kills. Loving was followed by Lexi Riggs and Summer Hansen who had four kills apiece.

The Coyotes established the tempo of the match early on in the first set, scoring quickly and often. The Jacks were outworked on several occasions and were only able to score 10 points to CSUSB’s 25. Another contributing factor was a handful of unforced errors when it came to passing the ball, which resulted in giving up several scoring opportunities for the Jacks.

Outside hitter Lenox Loving delivers a ball across the net during Humboldt State’s match against Cal State San Bernardino on Sept. 21 at Lumberjack Arena. | Photo by Thomas Lal

Coach Kelly Wood made some rotation adjustments throughout the second set. She hoped to help the team find a way past the Coyote’s tough defense. The changes had some success as the Jacks improved to 13 points but CSUSB still took the set with 25 points.

In the final set of the evening, Humboldt State slightly improved as they moved up to 15 points, but CSUSB still took it with 25 points. The Jacks seemed determined to put up a fight, capitalizing on more scoring opportunities and maintaining a roughly five-point gap through the middle stages of the set before falling back.

The Humboldt State volleyball team encourage each other after being scored on in their match against Cal State Bernardino at Lumberjack Arena on Sept. 21. | Photo by Thomas Lal

Redshirt sophomore Carla Crespo recorded five digs for the Jacks. Crespo was disappointed that the Jacks didn’t perform better but made it clear that the team was strong enough to rebound from the loss.

“I think our team is a really resilient team,” Crespo said. “We do whatever we can to try to support each other, we’re pretty close-knit. It can be hard when there’s a really good team, but I think we do a good job at playing together. We win together and we lose together.”

Volleyball head coach Kelly wood talks with her players during a short time-out during Humboldt State’s match against Cal State San Bernardino on Sept. 21 at Lumberjack Arena. | Photo by Thomas Lal

After the match Head Coach Kelly Wood felt that her team had been somewhat worn down by the Coyotes defense and she was slightly disappointed at the lack of change to effectively adapt to the pace of the game.

“We were getting blocked a lot,” Wood said. “They were big, and they were a presence at the net. Our girls were kind of scratching their heads a little bit trying to figure out how to put balls away against them. It tends to wear on you a little bit when you’re getting blocked over and over, but I just want to see them stay aggressive, keep swinging high and mixing up shots here and there.”

Outside hitter Lenox Love serves the ball during the third and final set during Humboldt State’s match against CSUSB on Sept. 21 at Lumberjack Arena. | Photo by Thomas Lal

After a lengthy stint of games that saw the Jacks compete in four matches over seven days, Coach Wood hopes to use the week in between their next game to allow athletes to recover.

“We haven’t had an opportunity to heal or just get through
soreness because we’ve been on such a marathon of matches,” Wood said. “I’m
excited for the girls to get some rest and come back strong next week.”

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