VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO SAINT MARY'S, GAELS CROWNED SACRAMENTO STATE INVITATIONAL CHAMPIONS
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Tournament MVP Lauren Cope had 15 kills, and fellow all-tournament selection Kristina Graven added a match-best 17 kills to lead Saint Mary's to a three-set sweep (27-25, 25-18, 25-23) of Sacramento State in the third and final round of the Sacramento State Volleyball Invitational Saturday evening at Colberg Court.
With the win, the Gaels (4-2 overall) completed the tournament with a perfect 3-0 record and were crowned tourney champions. Sacramento State (3-3 overall) finished the tournament with a 2-1 record, Boise State was 1-2, and Morgan State finished 0-3.
For Sacramento State, senior outside hitters and were both named to the all-tournament team. Genger finished the two-day event averaging a team-high 4.50 kills and 2.70 digs per set while Currey averaged 3.36 kills and a team-best 4.27 digs per set.
Saint Mary's, which is currently receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches top 25 poll, was challenged by Sacramento State all night long. In fact, the Hornets had a 23-21 lead and a set point at 24-23 in the first set before falling, and tied the score at 23-23 in the third before kills from Cpe and Katie Reininger ended the set and match.
The Gaels had 16 more kills than the Hornets (55-39) and hit better than .250 in all three sets. Saint Mary's also had nine more digs than Sacramento State (62-53), and outhit the Hornets, .275-.214. Joining Cope and Graven with double figures in kills for Saint Mary's was Gabby Jolly (10), who was also selected to the all-tournament team.
The loss snapped Sacramento State's three-match winning streak as the Hornets opened the tournament with victories over both Boise State and Morgan State by 3-1 scores. Despite the loss, Sacramento State has still won nine of its last 11 home matches dating back to last season.
Genger (12) was the lone Hornet to finish with double figures in kills while Currey had eight kills and 15 digs, and rightside hitter finished with nine kills and a .320 hitting percentage. Setter had a career-high three kills and a .400 hitting percentage, and libero led all players with 18 digs. Beal has now hit better than .290 in four straight matches.
The Hornets finished with 6.0 team blocks, which were the team's lowest total of the season.
Saint Mary's has now won three straight meetings over Sacramento State dating back to the 2008 season. The Hornets' last win against the Gaels came in Moraga during the 2006 season.
The Hornets return to action next week when the team competes at the two-day Fresno State Classic. Sacramento State opens tournament play at Fresno State on Friday night at 7 p.m. before taking on both Utah Valley and rival UC Davis on Saturday.
Saint Mary's 3-0 (Tournament Champions)
Sacramento State 2-1
Boise State 1-2
Morgan State 0-3
Lauren Cope - Saint Mary's (MVP)
Gabby Jolly - Saint Mary's
Kristina Graven - Saint Mary's
Janelle Currey - Sacramento State
Jessie Genger - Sacramento State
Alyssa Gammel - Boise State
Liz Harden - Boise State
For box scores from all six matches, click here.