VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN FOUR SETS TO FRESNO STATE
Junior Janelle Currey had a match-best 18 kills, but the Hornets fell in four to Fresno State
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Fresno State’s Brianna Clarke had 13 kills, five blocks and a .550 hitting percentage, and Marissa Brand added a team-high 15 kills to lead the Bulldogs to a 3-1 victory (14-25, 25-21, 25-13, 25-23) over the Hornets in the first round of the Sacramento State Volleyball Invitational Friday evening at Colberg Court.
With the loss, the Hornets (2-2) had their two-match winning streak halted. Prior to tonight, Sacramento State had won 10 of its last 11 games on the home floor dating back to last season. Fresno State improved to 2-2 overall, and 18-10 all-time against the Hornets. Both teams return to the court tomorrow to play their second and third matches of the tournament.
In its ninth straight year, this season’s Sacramento State Invitational field includes Cal State Northridge and Marist. All four teams play three matches over two days, and Cal State Northridge defeated Marist earlier today by a 3-0 score. The Hornets will play tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. (against Marist) and 7:30 p.m. (Cal State Northridge). For complete tournament information, click here.
Tonight’s match appeared to be headed to the fifth set as Sacramento State took a 23-20 lead in the fourth frame. However, the Bulldogs ran off five straight points to win the set and match. During the 5-0 run, Brand accounted for four of those points with kills, including each of the last three points of the set.
Statistically speaking, the match was nearly identical as both teams had similar numbers in kills (53-50 Hornets), digs (58-56 Bulldogs), team blocks (10.5-8.0 Bulldogs) and hitting percentage (.237-.211 Bulldogs). However, Fresno State used seven service aces and numerous other tough serves that threw Sacramento State out of its offense on the way to victory.
“I thought we started the match very well with our serving and passing,” Sacramento State head coach Ruben Volta said. “But give credit to Fresno State, they really bounced back in the second and third sets. We found our rhythm again in the fourth, but couldn’t capitalize late in the set.”
For Sacramento State, junior outside hitter Janelle Currey led the way with 18 kills, 14 digs and a .318 hitting percentage. That included just four errors in a match-high tying 44 attacks while the 18 kills were nine more than any other Hornet. Kelsey Elston added seven kills and team-best six blocks, Maddison Thivierge tallied five kills, two blocks and a .400 hitting percentage, and Jessie Genger recorded five kills and a .417 hitting percentage. Senior libero Breanne Menees led all players with 23 digs, and setter Anna Schoener added two kills in two attempts, 16 assists and three blocks.
Brand (15), Clarke (13), Cecilia Agraz (9) and Kristen Sciacca (7) combined for 44 of Fresno State’s 50 kills. Brand and Agraz both had three aces, while Brand also completed her double-double with 13 digs. Korrin Wild led the Bulldogs with 16 digs and Lauren Albertson had a match-best seven blocks.