Cal State Bakersfield upset Western Athletic Conference champ New Mexico State on Friday in a semifinal match of the WAC volleyball tournament in Edinburg, Texas.
The fourth-seeded Roadrunners, who did not win a set in two losses to the Aggies this season, won in four sets, 25-22, 25-20, 20-25 and 25-17. New Mexico State headed into the tournament having lost just four sets since Oct. 12.
CSUB will face host University of Texas-Rio Grand Valley in the championship game Saturday at 5 p.m. The Runners split with UTRGV in WAC play this year, losing there and winning at home.
“We feel great about the final, we cannot wait,” said CSUB coach Giovana Melo.
The third set was tied at 17 before New Mexico State edged ahead and went on to win. But the Runners bounced right back, took a 7-3 lead in the fourth set and led 18-15 before winning seven of the next nine points for the match.
“The girls played with so much heart and passion,” Melo said.
That’s the team I have always known we had.”
CSUB has five with nine or more kills, led by Mattison DeGarmo’s 13. Aleksand Djordjevic and Briannah Mariner each had 12 with Sydney Haynes the most efficient with 10 on 15 attempts (.600 kill percentage). Desiree Sukhov had nine kills.
“They were on fire,” Melo said of CSUB’s hitters. “ We have said this from the beginning. We just needed each of them to believe and play for each other.”
Fabiana Andrade and Sidney Wicks had 15 and 24 assists, respectively with Emily Lopes leading the team in digs with 17.