OGDEN, Utah -- Senior had 10 kills and a match-high 18 digs, and fellow outside hitter added a match-best 11 kills to lead Sacramento State to a 3-1 (24-26, 25-20, 25-16, 25-18) victory over Weber State in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Saturday evening at Swenson Gym.
The win allowed Sacramento State (10-18, 6-12) to remain in Big Sky Tournament contention with just two matches remaining in the regular season. The Hornets also needed Montana State to lose tonight, and that's exactly what happened in dramatic fashion as the Bobcats fell at home in five sets to Northern Arizona (19-17 in the fifth set).
The top six teams in the 11-member league reach the Big Sky Tournament, and there is currently a three-team race for the sixth and final spot between Montana State (8-10), Southern Utah (7-11) and Sacramento State (6-12). Southern Utah won its match tonight in nail-biting fashion over Montana in five sets (16-14 in the fifth).
The bottom line is this....each of the three teams have two matches remaining, and Sacramento State needs to win its final two, Montana State has to lose its final two, and Southern Utah needs to lose at least once for the Hornets to clinch the playoff spot. Sacramento State is far from being in the driver's seat for that last spot, but the Hornets do own the tiebreaker against both teams. Should all three teams finish with identical 8-12 records, Sacramento State will win that tiebreaker as well.
Tonight's outcomes sets up the biggest match of the season for the Hornets as they will host Montana State this Thursday at 7 p.m. at Colberg Court. A Sacramento State win, and the Hornets are still alive. A Montana State win, and the Hornets would be eliminated from playoff contention. Sacramento State concludes the regular season on Saturday against Montana at 7 p.m. The remaining schedules for all three teams are below.
MONTANA STATE (8-10) - Thursday away at Sacramento State, Monday (Nov. 19) away at Montana
SOUTHERN UTAH (7-11) - Thursday home vs. Northern Colorado, Saturday home vs. North Dakota
SACRAMENTO STATE (6-12) - Thursday home vs. Montana State, Saturday home vs. Montana
With tonight's win, the Hornets sweep the season series with Weber State (10-20, 3-15), and conclude their portion of road games on the regular season schedule. Sacramento State has split its last six matches, and will carry a 6-5 home record (4-4 against conference teams) into its two crucial homestand next week.
It wasn't a pretty win tonight, but the Hornets used defense and serving to beat the Wildcats. Weber State was limited to just a .096 hitting percentage, including .103 or less in each of the final three sets. Sacramento State also had eight aces, took advantage of 14 Weber State service errors, and posted 55 digs and 9.0 team blocks. The Wildcats' hitting percentage was the fourth lowest by a Hornet opponent this year.
After dropping the first set in tight fashion, Sacramento State handily won the next three frames. That included using a 21-8 run to close the fourth set and win the match. The Hornets hit just .171, but had more kills, assists, aces and digs than the Wildcats.
Currey's double-double also came with two solo blocks while Genger had four of her 11 kills in the fourth set. Middle blocker had eight kills and a team-best .357 hitting percentage, rightside hitter added eight kills and five blocks, and middle blocker finished with five kills and five blocks. Setter contributed three kills and 39 assists, and libero had 15 digs.
Five different Hornets had at least one ace, comprised of Kordic (2), Hettinga (2), Beal (2), Genger (1) and (1).
For Weber State, Dama Cox had a team-best 10 kills while Audrey Gee had six kills, five blocks and a match-high .417 hitting percentage.