BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Inconsistency and costly errors were too much for Seattle U volleyball (9-9, 0-4 WAC) to overcome on Saturday afternoon as it committed a combined 43 attack and service errors, falling 3-2 to CSU Bakersfield (7-9, 2-2 WAC) in Western Athletic Conference action.
The Redhawks, which had a quartet finish with double-digit kills, held a 60-55 advantage in total match kills but committed 30 attack errors as CSUB was more efficient hitting .225 to SU’s .190. Seattle U also dominated the service line as it tallied nine aces, second-most by the team this season, but was undermined by its 13 service errors.
Seattle U was in form early hitting .310 with 15 kills and a trio of aces, winning the first set, 25-23. The Redhawks opened the match with a 7-3 advantage as Eve Kerschenbaum hammered home a kill while Tijana Milojevic registered one of her two aces on day as part of a 3-0 spurt.
The Roadrunners forced a tie at 10-10 but SU promptly with back-to-back scores to push ahead. CSUB then drew level twice more at 17 and 18. Again, the Redhawks responded this time with three-unanswered highlighted by a Sofia Sanchez who contributed a kill and ace, pushing the score to 21-18. SU maintained its lead down the stretch before closing the match with a dump kill by Kailee Kurokawa.
Kurokawa capped the showing with four kills while recording a career-best 42 assists with 13 digs for her first-career double-double.
The Redhawk attack cooled in the second as they committed eight errors and were held to .140 hitting in the set. As a result, Seattle U played from behind for most of the frame. Julia Queiroz registered a kill early in the set, tying the match at 4-4, before CSUB answered by rattling off four-straight tallies. Trailing 13-10, the Roadrunners blew the set open with a 7-3 rally en route to a 25-16 decision, tying the match at 1-1.
Despite a more efficient offensive performance in third, Seattle U’s .250 hitting fell short to the .353 out put by the ‘Runners. The Redhawks held a pair of slim leads early before a 3-0 rally saw them claim a 14-13 margin midway though. CSUB immediately leveled the score at 14 before tallying twice more to regain control.
Trailing by as much as five down the stretch, SU began to push back late with a 5-1 run as Queiroz and Kerschenbaum helped the Redhawks cut the margin to one, 23-22. The effort though was cut short as CSUB tallied a pair of quick scores.
Queiroz had a standout performance as she finished with a season-high 12 kills and six blocks, while Kerschenbaum finished with 10 kills.
The Redhawks capitalized on CSUB attack woes in the fourth as SU hit .188 while the ‘Runners were held to a match-low -.036 with eight errors.
As a result, SU grabbed a quick 5-2 lead early and never looked back, working quickly to push the score 13-10 midway through. Leading 19-17, Seattle U closed the stanza with a 6-2 rally forcing a fifth set. Rachel Stark fueled the late run with three kills, while Kurokawa’s ace made it 22-18 before a Sanchez-kill capped the rally, tying the match.
Sanchez finished the day with 10, while Stark led all players with 18 en route to her seventh double-double of the season as she collected 13 digs.
The fifth was marked by back-and-forth action early as the sides battled to four ties and two lead changes before the turn. CSU Bakersfield used a 2-1 spurt midway through for a narrow 8-6 advantage as the teams traded ends. The Redhawks pushed back down forcing ties at 10 and 11 before an assisted block by Queiroz and Kurokawa nudged SU to a narrow 12-11 lead.
CSUB erased the slim margin with a pair of consecutive scores. Queiroz pushed her kill a season-best 12, evening the score at 13-all, but that would be the final SU point as the Roadrunners registered back-to-back tallies to close the match.
Seattle U will return to the nest when it begins a three-match home stand beginning on Thursday, Oct. 10 against Chicago State, before hosting Kansas City on Saturday, Oct. 12 and California Baptist on Monday, Oct. 14. Single-match tickets for each home date are available by visiting GoSeattleU.com/Tix or by calling 206-398-GOSU (4678) to reach the Seattle U Box Office.