VOLLEYBALL OPENS TOURNAMENT WITH 3-2 WIN OVER SAN JOSE STATE

VOLLEYBALL OPENS TOURNAMENT WITH 3-2 WIN OVER SAN JOSE STATE

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Sacramento State jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the fifth set and cruised the rest of the way as the Hornets beat San Jose State, 3-2 (23-25, 25-18, 25-15, 28-30, 15-3), in the first round of the Cal Poly ShareSLO Volleyball Tournament.

The Hornets, who will take on both CSU Bakersfield at 10 a.m. and tournament host Cal Poly at 7 p.m. tomorrow, improved their record to 3-6.

Sacramento State squandered three match points in the fourth set when the team held leads of 25-24, 26-25 and 28-27. However, the Hornets quickly erased that memory by starting off the fifth frame on a 9-0 run. Junior outside hitter Lauren Aikels, who played in the front row for the injured Morgan Stanley, served out each of the Hornets' first nine points.

Sacramento State bettered San Jose State (0-7) in every statistical category during the match, including kills (57-47), hitting percentage (.205-.094), aces (11-8), digs (66-59) and team blocks (16.0-10.0). In fact, the 16 team blocks were easily a season best, eclipsing the previous mark of 8.0, set against Morgan State.

Three different Hornets had at least six blocks, comprised of Courtney Dietrich (8), Kennedy Kurtz (6) and Madeline Cannon (6). The eight blocks for Dietrich matched a career high while Kurtz and Cannon's six blocks were season bests for both players.

Outside hitter Sloan Lovett led all players with 22 kills, including three in the fifth set. The junior team captain also hit .314 with six digs and four blocks. She accounted for 25.5 points which were seven better than any other player on the floor. Lovett was joined in double-figure kills by Cannon who had 11 kills and team highs in hitting percentage (.385) and aces (4) to go along with the six blocks.

Aikels had nine kills and Shannon Boyle tacked on seven kills. Libero Lexie Skalbeck finished with a match-high tying 17 digs, and Kurtz finished with 49 assists and 11 digs. Of Sacramento State's 11 aces, three came from Aikels and two from Kurtz.

San Jose State was limited to a -.273 hitting percentage in the fifth set and no Spartan player hit better than .263 in the match. Tyanna Roy had a team-high 15 kills, but hit just .080.

NOTES -- Stanley, who is usually a full rotation outside hitter, was limited to playing just the back row because of injury…Sacramento State is 3-6 in sets decided by two points.