VOLLEYBALL FIGHTS BACK BUT FALLS AT HOME TO IDAHO STATE, 3-1

VOLLEYBALL FIGHTS BACK BUT FALLS AT HOME TO IDAHO STATE, 3-1

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Idaho State's Makenzie Filer had 16 kills, 10 blocks and a .429 hitting percentage to lead the Bengals to a 3-1 victory (25-11, 24-26, 25-23, 25-16) over Sacramento State in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Thursday evening at Colberg Court.

With the loss, the Hornets, who broke out a brand new sport court for tonight's match, dropped to 5-13 overall and 0-3 in the Big Sky. It marks the first time the program has began Big Sky play with three consecutive losses since joining the league in 1996. Idaho State is now tied atop the South Division with a 3-0 conference record to go along with a 9-7 overall mark. The Bengals, who are the defending Big Sky Tournament champions, have defeated Sacramento State on six consecutive occasions. That is the longest current winning streak against Sacramento State for any Big Sky opponent.

The Hornets, who are playing this season with eight freshmen, five sophomores and three juniors, showed resolve in the loss. After dropping the first set, 25-11, Sacramento State bounced back to win the second frame, 26-24, after a solo block from Kendall LaVine and a service ace from Madeline Cannon snapped a 24-24 tie. In addition, the Hornets nearly stormed all the way back from a 24-18 deficit in the third set to get within, 24-23, before a combo block from Idaho State's Tressa Lyman and Whitney Harrington gave the Bengals the victory.

The fourth set saw the Hornets trail, 15-13, after a kill from Sloan Lovett before ISU closed the set and match on a 10-3 run.

Sacramento State limited Idaho State to a .223 hitting percentage, but the Hornets hit just .115 and were outnumbered in kills (49-39), aces (11-6), digs (53-44) and team blocks (12.5-12.0). The Bengals scored a robust 21 points via the service line, as the Bengals had 11 aces and took advantage of 10 Hornet service errors.

Two matches removed from posting a career-best 27 kills at Southern Utah, Lovett had another strong outing for Sacramento State, posting 17 kills, a .297 hitting percentage, five digs and three blocks. She was the only Sacramento State player with more than seven kills and is now averaging a Big Sky-high 4.42 kills per seat against conference competition.

Cannon had seven kills and a team-high tying five blocks while LaVine had five kills, a .273 hitting percentage and five blocks. Freshman setter Kennedy Kurtz had 35 assists, two aces and team-high 10 digs, and libero Brigitte Murdock added nine digs.

For the Bengals, Filer (16) and Lyman (10) combined for 26 of the team's 49 kills. Filer's .429 hitting percentage was easily a team high among ISU players with more than one kill.

Tonight marked the first of a season-long four-match homestand as the Hornets return to action on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.