GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Sacramento State's had a career-high 34 digs and added a career-best 11 blocks, but it was not enough as the Hornets fell at North Dakota, 3-1 (25-18, 19-25, 25-23, 25-22) in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Saturday afternoon at the Betty Engelstad Center.
With the loss, the Hornets concluded their two-week road trip with an 0-4 record. Sacramento State (5-10, 1-5) opened the conference season with a three-set sweep of Eastern Washington on Sept. 13, but have lost five straight which included a heart-breaking 3-2 home loss to Portland State. Today marked the first time in school history the Hornets played North Dakota in Grand Forks.
The victory improved North Dakota to 7-8 overall and 3-2 in the Big Sky. UND has now won three of it last four matches.
Sacramento State hit poorly (.069) but was able to stay in the match with a defensive effort that produced 19.0 team blocks, one shy of a season high. Newcomb led the way with 11 blocks (three solos), which surpassed her previous career high of nine. She was one of one five Hornets with at least three blocks, including (7), (5), (4) and (3).
After the two teams split the first two sets, the remaining two frames were nail biters. That included a third set that saw the Hornets claw their way back from a 21-16 deficit to tie the score at 23-23. However, North Dakota got a Ronni Munkeby kill and a Felicia Ulrich service ace to win the set. It looked like the two teams would be playing into the fifth set after the Hornets jumped out to a massive 15-2 lead in the fourth, but North Dakota concluded the set on a 23-7 run to take the set and match.
North Dakota (.087) didn't hit much better than Sacramento State, but had more kills (52-40) and digs (89-81). UND also got 15 kills apiece from Lexi Robinson and Munkeby as the tandem combined for 30 of the team's 52 kills.
For the second straight match, the Hornets did not have a player finish with double figures in kills as Beal and both had nine. Beal (.214) was the only Sacramento State player to finish with better than a .167 hitting percentage.
Kordic was all over the floor, as her 34 digs surpassed her previous career high of 30, set in 2010. In addition, the 34 digs tied for the 12th best mark in Hornet single-match history. Currey (14) and setter (10) joined Kordic with double digits in digs. Hettinga returned to action after missing Thursday's Northern Colorado match with injury. For the fifth straight match, Sacramento State was playing without the services of starting outside hitter because of injury.
The Hornets finally return home next week for back-to-back matches at Colberg Court on Friday against Idaho State and Saturday vs. Weber State. Both contests will begin at 7 p.m.