SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Northern Arizona's Janae Vander Ploeg had 18 kills and hit .417, and the Lumberjacks limited the Hornets to a .142 hitting percentage on the way to a three-set sweep of Sacramento State in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Saturday evening at the Rolle Activity Center.
Set scores were 25-21, 25-19, 26-24, and the Hornets' largest lead of the evening came at 7-5 in the third set. After NAU took the first two sets quickly, Sacramento State made things interesting in the third. The Lumberjacks had a 24-19 lead before the Hornets saved five straight match points before tying things at 24-24. The run included back-to-back service aces by Sloan Lovett at 24-21 and 24-22. However, with the scored tied at 24-24, Vander Ploeg recorded kills on consecutive points to put the match away.
With the loss, Sacramento State (13-12, 8-6) had its season-high tying four-match winning streak snapped. Northern Arizona improved to 16-6 overall and 10-3 in the league, and the Lumberjacks avenged a 3-1 loss to the Hornets in Sacramento earlier this year.
The Hornets remain in a tie for fifth place in the league standings as Montana (8-6) lost tonight at home to Portland State. With just six matches remaining in the regular season, the Hornets are three games ahead of seventh-place Northern Colorado (5-9) and Eastern Washington (5-9). That's important because the top six teams in the 11-member league will qualify for the Big Sky Tournament later this month in Portland.
Sacramento State's .142 hitting percentage was its worst mark in over a month, and lowest since 11 matches ago when the team hit .022 at Portland State. Besides setter Hannah Hettinga's two kills and .667 hitting percentage, no other Hornet hit better than .250. The Hornets also had just 5.0 team blocks, tying their lowest mark in the last 14 matches.
Vander Ploeg was the best player on the floor all evening as the outside hitter had match highs in kills (18) and aces (3), and her .417 hitting percentage was better than everyone except Hettinga. NAU finished the match hitting .269, but Vander Ploeg was the only Lumberjack with more than a kill to hit better than .263.
For Sacramento State, rightside hitter Kayla Beal led the way with 10 kills, her fourth straight match leading the Hornets in that category. She also paced the team with eight digs. Beal was the only Hornet with double figures in kills, as Lovett finished with nine kills and two aces, and Morgan Stanley had seven kills, two aces and six digs. Hettinga finished with 30 assists and five digs, and both Beal and Courtney Dietrich had two blocks. Lexie Skalbeck added two aces and Katie Aprile had seven digs.
The Hornets continue their four-match road trip over the next nine days with matchups next Saturday at North Dakota and Monday, Nov. 9, at Northern Colorado.
April 8, 2014 VOLLEYBALL RELEASES ITS 2014 SCHEDULE
January 27, 2014 SACRAMENTO STATE EARNS 22 FALL BIG SKY ALL-ACADEMIC HONORS
January 24, 2014 VOLLEYBALL ADDS DIV. I TRANSFER AND LOCAL PRODUCT MADELINE CANNON
November 30, 2013 VOLLEYBALL'S HOME WINNING STREAK NAMED BIG SKY'S 16TH GREATEST MOMENT
November 28, 2013 VOLLEYBALL’S BEAL NAMED SECOND TEAM ALL-BIG SKY
November 23, 2013 VOLLEYBALL LOSES IN FIVE, ELIMINATED FROM BIG SKY TOURNAMENT CONTENTION
November 21, 2013 VOLLEYBALL ONE STEP CLOSER TO PLAYOFF SPOT AFTER WIN AT MONTANA STATE
November 20, 2013 VOLLEYBALL LOOKS TO GRAB PLAYOFF SPOT IN FINAL WEEK OF REGULAR SEASON
November 18, 2013 VOLLEYBALL SIGNS BOYLE, BROWN AND KURTZ TO LETTERS OF INTENT
November 16, 2013 VOLLEYBALL PICKS UP HUGE WIN, CRUSHES WEBER STATE
November 15, 2013 VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO IDAHO STATE, WILL PLAY HOME FINALE TOMORROW
November 14, 2013 FORMER HORNET LINDSAY HAUPT NAMED THE BIG SKY'S 19TH BEST FEMALE ATHLETE
November 14, 2013 FINAL HOMESTAND FOR VOLLEYBALL WITH POSTSEASON IMPLICATIONS ON TAP
November 11, 2013 VOLLEYBALL FALLS AT NORTHERN COLORADO, STILL CLINGS TO A PLAYOFF SPOT
November 9, 2013 VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN THREE AT NORTH DAKOTA
October 31, 2013 WINNING STREAK AT FOUR AS VOLLEYBALL BEATS SOUTHERN UTAH
October 30, 2013 VOLLEYBALL LOOKS TO INCREASE WINNING STREAK THIS WEEK ON THE ROAD
October 26, 2013 HOME COURT KIND AGAIN AS VOLLEYBALL BEATS EASTERN WASHINGTON
October 25, 2013 VOLLEYBALL SECURES HUGE HOME VICTORY OVER PORTLAND STATE
October 23, 2013 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS A PAIR OF LEAGUE MATCHES THIS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
October 19, 2013 VOLLEYBALL HITS SEASON-HIGH .398 IN FOUR-SET WIN OVER MONTANA STATE
October 18, 2013 VOLLEYBALL FALLS AT HOME TO MONTANA
October 12, 2013 VOLLEYBALL NOW 4-4 IN CONFERENCE PLAY AFTER LOSS AT IDAHO STATE
October 11, 2013 VOLLEYBALL PICKS UP FIVE-SET ROAD WIN AT WEBER STATE
October 9, 2013 VOLLEYBALL TRAVELS TO MATCHUPS AT WEBER STATE AND IDAHO STATE
October 3, 2013 VOLLEYBALL WINS FIVE-SET NAIL BITER OVER NORTHERN COLORADO
October 2, 2013 VOLLEYBALL LOOKS TO EXTEND WINNING STREAK THIS WEEK AT HOME
September 28, 2013 VOLLEYBALL DOMINATES SOUTHERN UTAH IN THREE QUICK SETS
September 27, 2013 VOLLEYBALL HITS FOR HIGH PERCENTAGE, DEFEATS NORTHERN ARIZONA
September 26, 2013 VOLLEYBALL BEGINS HOMESTAND WITH MATCHES FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT
September 21, 2013 VOLLEYBALL DROPS BIG SKY MATCHUP AT PORTLAND STATE
September 19, 2013 VOLLEYBALL LOSES FIVE-SET HEARTBREAKER TO EWU IN BIG SKY OPENER
September 18, 2013 VOLLEYBALL OPENS BIG SKY PLAY THURSDAY AT EASTERN WASHINGTON
September 14, 2013 VOLLEYBALL CONCLUDES TOURNAMENT WITH LOSS TO BOISE STATE
September 13, 2013 LOVETT’S 14 KILLS NOT ENOUGH IN VOLLEYBALL’S LOSS TO IDAHO
September 13, 2013 VOLLEYBALL OPENS TOURNAMENT WITH LOSS TO NORTH TEXAS
September 10, 2013 VOLLEYBALL TRAVELS TO UC DAVIS TONIGHT, BOISE STATE LATER THIS WEEK
September 10, 2013 VOLLEYBALL FALLS AT UC DAVIS
September 6, 2013 VOLLEYBALL STUMBLES AT HOME AGAINST SAN JOSE STATE
September 4, 2013 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS 11TH-ANNUAL SACRAMENTO STATE INVITATIONAL
September 2, 2013 LOVETT CAPS BIG WEEK WITH BIG SKY VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
September 1, 2013 LOVETT WITH A HUGE DAY, VOLLEYBALL NOW 3-0 AFTER WIN OVER LA SALLE
August 28, 2013 VOLLEYBALL BEGINS 2013 SEASON ON SATURDAY IN PHILADELPHIA
August 23, 2013 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS ALUMNI MATCH THIS SATURDAY
August 22, 2013 2013 VOLLEYBALL SEASON OUTLOOK