CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Morgan Stanley had 13 kills and 13 digs, Sloan Lovett tallied 13 kills and Lexie Skalbeck added 20 digs to lead Sacramento State to a 3-1 victory (25-10, 25-21, 21-25, 25-13) over ETSU in the second round of the Charlotte Volleyball Invitational.
The win came against an ETSU squad that finished last year at 22-9 overall and 16-2 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. In addition, it was a good bounce back as the Hornets were swept in this morning's season opener by UNC Greensboro.
The Hornets (1-1) are playing four matches during the two-day tournament, including matchups with Morgan State (6:30 a.m. PDT) and Charlotte (4 p.m. PDT) tomorrow. ETSU, which used to go by the name East Tennessee State, handily swept Morgan State earlier this morning and moved its record to 1-1 as well.
Sacramento State held large advantages over the Bucs in kills (53-39), hitting percentage (.216-.075), assists (51-34), aces (8-3) and digs (81-58). In fact, the 81 digs were more than the Hornets posted in any match last season as four different Sacramento State players posted at least 11 digs.
"I felt like nerves got to us in the (loss to UNCG), but we settled down and were ready to play against ETSU," Sacramento State seventh-year head coach Ruben Volta said. "We served tough and got them out of system, and that helped kick start our offense and attacking. We really started the match on the right foot and I was very happy with how well we served and passed."
For Stanley, who is a sophomore, the double-double was the eighth of her career and each of her 13 kills came over the final three sets. Lovett's 13 kills accompanied two aces and four digs, middle blocker Madeline Cannon had nine kills, three aces and a .438 hitting percentage and freshman setter Kennedy Kurtz finished with three aces, a .429 hitting percentage, 42 assists and 17 digs.
Defensively, the Hornets, who averaged over 20 digs a set during the match, had four players finish with double figures in digs. That includes Skalbeck, Stanley, Kurtz and freshman Brigitte Murdock (11). Skalbeck gained the start at libero and responded with 20 digs, just one shy of her career high. Freshman Hannah Meadows added five assists and seven digs.
NOTES -- The Hornets ran a 6-2 offense during a good portion of the second set…Cannon has now led the Hornets in hitting percentage in both matches, and is hitting .483 (16-2-29)…though still very early in the season, Sacramento State is averaging 19.57 digs per set through two matches, more than six digs per set better than last season's final tally of 13.03…the Hornets used five freshmen, five sophomores and two juniors in the match.