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This item originally appeared in the October 28, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.

By MATT DEARMAN

Sports Writer

Tech's volleyball team suffered a tough road trip last week, as the Lady Techsters fell to Western Athletic Conference foes Fresno State University on Oct. 21 and the University of Nevada on Oct. 23.

The Lady Techsters (5-17, 1-8 WAC) started the day off strong, but a 30-28 loss in game one killed any momentum Tech had, as the Wolfpack (14-6, 7-2 WAC) won the next two games handily with scores of 30-20 and 30-21.

"We played very well in the first game [against Nevada]," Tech's head coach Heather Mazeitis said. "The stats recorded for the match did not do justice to our performance."

Nevada's defense executed to near perfection in the match, recording 48 digs and 11 blocks while limiting the Lady Techsters to just 26 kills, nine kills coming from senior Megan Rush.

The Wolfpack also managed to silent Tech's defense, as defensive leader Heather Anderson was held to just eight digs in the outing.

The loss marked the eighth straight for the Lady Techsters, a streak dating back to Sept. 28.

"It's been tough," Mazeitis said. "I'm proud of the way the girls have stuck together this season."

Prior to their meeting with Nevada, the Lady Techsters traveled to Fresno, Calif., where they faced off with the Fresno State Lady Bulldogs (11-10, 4-5 WAC) in what proved to be an offensive shootout.

Both teams recorded a combined 103 kills in the match, and the lead changed hands 13 times. The score was tied 21 times before Fresno was able to secure the victory 30-22, 30-28, 31-29.

The Lady Techsters kept game one close early, but a Fresno hot streak late in the match allowed the Lady Bulldogs to slip away with the victory to go on top one game to none.

Following game one, the match proved to be a dogfight to the finish, as fewer than five points separated the teams for the remainder of the contest, and both of the final two games would be decided by the mandatory minimum of two points.

Senior Joy Okpa was Tech's leader on offense, recording 15 kills in the match. Also producing solid numbers offensively were sophomore Ambra Hayes with nine kills and freshman Shannon Phillips with eight.

Leading the way for Tech's defense was senior Natalie Shipp, who recorded 21 digs, followed by Hayes with 11 and Anderson with 10.

"I felt like we gave the match away against Fresno," Mazeitis said.

"We had some brilliant performances, but we couldn't string them together."


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