CHARLESTON, S.C. -- College of Charleston's Darcy Dorton led all players with 23 kills and Emily Shelton added a match-high 20 digs to lead the Cougars to a 3-1 victory (25-20, 18-25, 25-23, 25-22) over Sacramento State in the first round of the Hampton Inn & Suites West Ashley Volleyball Invitational.
The match marked the season opener for both teams. Sacramento State returns to action tomorrow for the final two matches of the two-day tournament against North Carolina State (7 a.m. PDT) and Jacksonville (1:30 p.m. PDT).
The loss overshadowed a big night from Hornet senior , who was making her debut at outside hitter after spending all of last season as a rightside hitter. The Kent, Wash., native posted career highs in kills (19), digs (12) and aces (3) while hitting .280. In fact, the 19 kills were eight more than she had in any match last year.
After the teams split the first two sets, Sacramento State squandered an 18-15 lead in the third set and a 19-15 advantage in the fourth set before the Cougars came back to win both frames. In fact, College of Charleston went on a 10-3 run to close the fourth set and the match.
College of Charleston held healthy advantages over the Hornets in kills (62-47), hitting percentage (.255-.144) and digs (82-65). The Hornets, however, had nine aces (zero for the Cougars) and finished with 12.0 team blocks, including eight from middle blocker , six from rightside hitter and four from middle blocker .
Collectively, Sacramento State hit just .144 as setter (.333), Genger (.280) and Newcomb (.267) were the only Hornets to hit better than .180. Conversely, the Cougars hit .255 as Dorton (23) and Sloane White (14) combined for 37 of the team's 62 kills.
For Sacramento State, outside hitter (10 kills, 14 digs) joined Genger with double figures in kills. Making her first career start at libero, fourth-year senior posted a team-best 19 digs. Newcomb had six kills to go along with her four blocks, and Hettinga had a career-high 41 assists, five better than her previous match best. Of the Hornets' nine aces, three came from Genger while Beal and Kordic had two apiece.
For College of Charleston, Dorton's 23 kills accompanied 18 digs while White had a .367 hitting percentage to go with her 14 kills.
Tonight marked the first time in school history the Hornets played College of Charleston, and tomorrow's matches against North Carolina State and Jacksonville will also be the first time the schools have met.
The Hornets used just nine players in the match as the team was playing without rightside hitter and middle blocker . Both players were expected to contribute heavily in tonight's match.