VALPARAISO, Ind. -- George Washington had 16 more kills and limited the Hornets to a .078 hitting percentage on the way to a three-set sweep (25-18, 25-19, 25-21) of Sacramento State in the first round of the Valparaiso Classic on Friday evening at the ARC.
Sacramento State (4-9 overall) returns to action tomorrow when the team plays its final two matches of the tournament against host Valparaiso at 10:30 a.m. PDT and Murray State at 2:30 p.m. PDT. Playing just its second match ever against George Washington, and first since 1991, Sacramento State failed to hit anything better than .167 in any of the three sets.
The Colonials (8-3) held advantages over the Hornets in kills (46-30), hitting percentage (.261-.078), digs (53-44) and team blocks (10.0-4.0). Sacramento State had tallied at least eight team blocks in four straight matches prior to this evening's loss.
The Hornets' largest lead of the night came at 19-16 of the third set when it looked like the team was in control and force a fourth set. However, George Washington closed the frame on a 9-2 run, spearheaded by five kills from Kelsey Newman. In fact, it was Newman that led all players with 13 kills to go with a .310 hitting percentage, two aces and 11 digs.
Sacramento State, which played without junior outside hitter and team captain Sloan Lovett for the second straight match (ankle), used five freshmen, five sophomores and one junior in the match. True freshman Shannon Boyle led the Hornets with nine kills and a .214 hitting percentage. Boyle has now tallied at least seven kills in five straight matches after doing so twice during the first seven matches of the season.
Also for the Hornets, sophomore middle blocker Madeline Cannon had five kills, two blocks and a .273 hitting percentage. True freshman Brigitte Murdock finished with a team-high 13 digs and sophomore Lexie Skalbeck added 11 digs. Skalbeck played the first set as the team's libero before Murdock played the final two sets at the position.
For George Washington, joining Newman with double figures in kills were Chidima Osuchukwu (12 kills, .500 hitting percentage, four blocks) and Loren Williams (10 kills).
Sacramento State is now 3-3 when playing on a neutral court this season.
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