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SHORT-HANDED VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO UC DAVIS IN FIVE-SET GRINDER

SHORT-HANDED VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO UC DAVIS IN FIVE-SET GRINDER

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Playing without junior outside hitter and team captain Sloan Lovett, Sacramento State kept it close with its Causeway rival, but fell in the end to UC Davis by a 3-2 score (24-26, 25-18, 25-13, 20-25, 15-6) Tuesday evening at Colberg Court.

Lovett injured her ankle three days ago in the Hornets' match against Cal Poly, and was unavailable to play in tonight's contest because of the injury. Sacramento State sorely missed her production as the team finished with just 50 kills and hit .121 over the five sets. Despite not playing tonight, Lovett still leads the team in kills, attempts and kills per set.

With Lovett not being able to play, Sacramento State (4-8) fielded a team that consisted of just one upperclassman this evening (junior Lauren Aikels) and head coach Ruben Volta played four freshmen, six sophomores and Aikels. Still, the Hornets were able to scrap their way to the fifth set, but UC Davis dominated the final frame from the onset.

The Aggies (4-6) never trailed in the fifth frame, jumping out to a 4-1 lead and eventually pushed the advantage to 10-4. Sacramento State got a kill from Kennedy Kurtz and an Aggie setting error to close to 10-6, but UC Davis won the final four points to claim the 15-6 victory. The Aggies hit .750 (9-0-12) in the fifth set while the Hornets were limited to a -.125 (3-5-16) percentage.

In the 71st meeting between the two rivals, UC Davis beat the Hornets for the fourth straight time dating back to the 2011 season. Sacramento State still maintains a 50-21 advantage in the all-time series over the Aggies, including a 22-8 mark when playing on the home floor.

The only set that was close in the match happened to be the first frame when back-to-back Aggie attack errors after the score was tied at 24-24 gave the Hornets the set, 26-24.

UC Davis held statistical advantages over Sacramento State in kills (58-50), hitting percentage (.210-.121), aces (9-5) and team blocks (16.0-12.0). Three Hornet underclassmen, freshman Shannon Boyle and sophomores Madeline Cannon and Morgan Stanley, combined for 40 of the team's 50 kills.

Boyle, a true freshman from Ridgefield, Wash., set her career high with 15 kills to lead Sacramento State. She was joined in double figures by Cannon, who finished with 13 kills, a .344 hitting percentage and nine blocks. The nine blocks set her career high and the 13 kills were one shy of a career best. Five of those nine blocks came in the Hornets' victorious fourth set.

Stanley, who had not played in the front row each of the last four matches because of injury, moved back to her customary role as a full-rotation outside hitter tonight and responded with 12 kills, two aces, 13 digs and a career-best six blocks. Sophomore Courtney Dietrich added four kills and three blocks, libero Lexie Skalbeck had 12 digs, Kurtz had 40 assists and 10 digs, and freshman Brigitte Murdock added eight digs.

UC Davis was led by Kaylin Squyres' 17 kills, including four in five attempts in the fifth set. She was joined in double figures by Allie Wegener who finished with 14 kills, 17 digs and a .314 hitting percentage while Katie Quinn added nine kills and eight blocks and Kendall Walbrecht had a match-high tying nine blocks.

Tonight marked the final match at home during the month of September for the Hornets as the team returns to action later this week when it travels to Indiana to compete in the Valparaiso Crossroads of America Classic. Sacramento State will take on George Washington on Friday at 2:30 p.m. PDT, and face both host Valparaiso and Murray State on Saturday.