VOLLEYBALL DROPS ROAD MATCH AT NEVADA

VOLLEYBALL DROPS ROAD MATCH AT NEVADA

RENO, Nev. -- Nevada hit .311 and never trailed the entire match on the way to a three-set sweep of Sacramento State (25-19, 25-20, 25-17) in a non-conference volleyball match Tuesday evening at the Virginia Street Gym.

Sacramento State never had a lead the entire way as the Wolf Pack jumped out to leads of 6-0 in the first set, 11-4 in the second frame, and 8-1 in the third set. The Hornets have now dropped four straight while their record fell to 2-6. Nevada improved to 3-1, and defeated Sacramento State for the first time since the 2008 season. The Hornets are now 33-11 all-time against Nevada.

The Hornets, already fielding the youngest roster in school history (including a program-record eight freshmen), were without sophomore outside hitter Morgan Stanley tonight because of injury. Stanley is a full rotation outside hitter, had started every match this year and leads the team in kills per set.

One area Sacramento State will need to improve upon is defense. The Hornets recorded just 28 digs and 2.0 team blocks tonight. During the losing streak, the team is averaging just 9.07 digs and 1.21 blocks per set. In addition, opponents are hitting .309 during that four-match stretch, including Nevada hitting .311 tonight with 41 kills and just 13 errors in 90 attacks.

The Hornets contained nearly all of Nevada's starters, but had no answer for senior middle blocker Tessa Lea'ea. The 6-foot-3 middle had a match-best 14 kills with no errors in 24 attacks, good for a .583 hitting percentage. No other Wolf Pack player had more than six kills.

For Sacramento State, outside hitter Sloan Lovett led the way with 12 kills while Lauren Aikels, playing in place of Stanley at outside hitter, had 10 kills and a team-high .304 hitting percentage. Aikels and Lovett, who are both juniors, are the longest tenured players on the team. Aikels had 10 kills with just three errors in 23 attacks. Sophomore Madeline Cannon added five kills as the threesome combined for 27 of Sacramento State's 30 kills.

Sophomore libero Lexie Skalbeck had a match-high 11 digs while freshman setter Kennedy Kurtz had a team-high two aces. No Sacramento State player had more than one block.

The Hornets return to action later this week when they take part in the Cal Poly ShareSlo Tournament on Friday and Saturday. Sacramento State will play three matches during the two-day tournament, beginning on Friday against San Jose State at 5 p.m.