The Dons came up short in two hard- fought road contests against the Portland Pilots on Thursday, Nov. 6 and the Gon- zaga Bulldogs on Saturday, Nov. 8, losing both matches in the fifth and final set.
San Francisco was shorthanded Satur- day night in their match against the Bull- dogs, missing their leading scorer soph- omore Katarina Pilepic. Even without Pilepic’s offensive power, The Dons jumped out to a lead, taking the first set 25-21 af- ter a critical ace by sophomore setter Kiara McKibben that shifted the momentum in San Francisco’s favor. The momentum did not last long, however, and Gonzaga was able to bounce back from their loss in the first set, taking the second in a close battle that included 11 ties.
San Francisco answered back in the third set, building an 11-4 lead. The Bull- dogs had no answer, and the Dons went on to win the third set 25-15. Unfortunately, San Francisco could not earn themselves back-to-back set victories in the fourth set. Gonzaga, giving San Francisco a taste of their own medicine, went on an extended run early in the set. The Dons cut the Bull- dogs’ lead to three later on, but they couldn’t come all the way back, losing 25-19
In the final set, the Dons had the score tied at 9-9, but lost six of the next seven points to lose the set 15-10, and the game 3-2. The back and forth game could have gone either way, but the Dons were unable to make a run at a crucial time in the fifth set. The game marked the second time that USF lost to Gonzaga in five sets this year.
The Dons were dealt another road loss at Portland two days prior to their matchup with Gonzaga. The match against the Pilots was similar to the Gonzaga game, stretching to five sets as the Dons and Pilots battled it out. Like the match against Gonzaga, the match was a back and forth affair. The Pilots won the first set, then dropped the sec- ond to the Dons. Portland then went on to win the third, but the Dons came back and won the fourth. It was in the decisive fifth set that the Dons lost 15- 12, losing the match 3-2.
San Francisco can now look forward to returning to War Memorial Gym where it is 7-2 on the season. The Dons’ next game comes when they play the Pepperdine Waves on Thursday, Nov. 13 at 7:00 p.m.