SAN DIEGO – (Aug. 25) Seattle University volleyball and San Diego State battled back and forth in a five-set thriller Saturday morning at the Aztec Invitational before SDSU eventually slipped away with a 26-24, 25-27, 21-25, 25-23, 15-12 final over the Redhawks.
Seattle U (1-1) got huge performances from freshmen Sofia Sanchez and Eve Kerschenbaum who led the way with 16 and 14 kills, respectively. Maja Stojanovic added 10 kills and seven blocks while Shae Harris dished 48 assists and Tijana Milojevic collected 19 digs.
The Aztecs (1-1) were paced by Hannah Turnlund's 16 kills while Deja Harris and Ashlynn Dunbar added 15 and 14 kills, respectively.
"We played very well against a good team on their home court," said Head Coach James Finley. "The freshmen did a really nice job leading us again and Shae had another solid match."
SDSU hit a strong .351 in set one to take a 26-24 win. But the Redhawks' defense picked up in the second set, holding the Aztecs to just .139. Seattle U rallied from behind early, eventually tying the score at 22-all. Back-to-back kills from Rachel Stark and Sanchez snapped a 25-25 tie to event the match at 1-1.
The Redhawks carried the momentum into the third set on their way to a 25-21 win. Trailing 23-19 late in the fourth, the Redhawks made a run on the serve of Kailee Kurokawa, knotting the score at 23-all. But the Aztecs would force the fifth and deciding set with a 25-23 win.
In the fifth, it was all Dunbar down the stretch as the Aztec had three late kills and assisted on a block as the Redhawks could not complete the comeback.
"We learned a lot in fighting all the way to the end in a tie breaker on our opponent's home court," said Finley. ""Overall, I felt this was a successful weekend for us in terms of development and growth of this young team."
The Redhawks remain in Southern California, facing Long Beach State on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at Walter Pyramid.