SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Four Hornets tallied double figures in kills and libero Lexie Skalbeck had a match-best 30 digs to lead Sacramento State to a 3-1 victory over Northern Arizona (28-26, 19-25, 26-24, 25-23) in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Thursday evening at Colberg Court.
The win for the Hornets (8-22, 3-12) was their first of the season at home and came against a Northern Arizona squad that entered the match with a 19-6 overall record and 10-4 conference mark. In addition, the Hornets improved to 20-1 all-time when playing the Lumberjacks in Sacramento, a homecourt dominance that stretches back to 1996.
Sacramento State, which has been eliminated from Big Sky Tournament contention, wraps up its season at home on Saturday vs. Southern Utah at 7 p.m. Over the last seven matches, the Hornets are 3-4, and three of the losses during that span were extremely close and could have just as easily been Sacramento State wins.
Tonight, the Hornets got offensive production from multiple players as Morgan Stanley (16 kills, 16 digs), Madeline Cannon (15 kills, four blocks, .333 hitting percentage), Sloan Lovett (14 kills) and Lauren Kissell (12 kills) all finished with better than 10 kills. In addition, Sacramento State played sound defense all evening, finishing with 89 digs and 10.0 team blocks. The 89 digs were not only the third best mark of the season, but the team's top mark in a four-set match.
Leading the defense was Skalbeck, who seemed to dig everything in sight as she averaged a robust 7.50 digs per set in tonight's match. Setter Kennedy Kurtz chipped in 17 digs, Hannah Meadows had a season-high 10 digs, and five different Hornets had at least two blocks. Brigitte Murdock added nine digs, and Kurtz finished with 54 assists.
"At the beginning of the match, we played very well defensively and I felt that set the tone for the rest of the match," Sacramento State head coach Ruben Volta said. "Having all those digs and winning some long rallies towards the beginning really helped us confidence-wise and allowed us to settle in.
"NAU is a very good team who is steady and attacks well, and that's another reason I was happy with our defense. We did everything well at very important times. Not just blocking well, but getting touches on balls that made it easier to play defense. We passed well, we ran our offense, and I felt like Kennedy (Kurtz) did a very nice job of spreading the offense around. We just played well in so many areas, and we needed to do that tonight to beat a team of NAU's caliber."
The Hornets and Lumberjacks were locked in three sets that came down to the wire, and Sacramento State was victorious in all three of those frames. That included a third set in which the Hornets saved a set point at 23-24 before running off three straight points, capped by a Lovett kill that she placed perfectly in the corner above the outstretched arms of NAU defenders. In the fourth set, it was a Cannon kill at 24-23 that not only ended the set, but put the Hornets in the win column.
Northern Arizona entered the match with a season hitting percentage of .259, easily the top mark in the conference. The Hornets were able to limit that NAU offensive attack to just a .171 percentage tonight. In fact, only one NAU player hit above the .300 mark. Sacramento State easily had more kills (65-52) and held NAU to hitting percentage below .145 in three different sets.
For NAU, Sydney Kemper led the way with 15 kills and 12 digs, Janae Vander Ploeg had 12 kills and 17 digs, and Stacia Williams had a team-best 26 digs. The Lumberjacks finished with 90 digs as five different players finished with double figures in digs.
Sacramento State's match against Southern Utah on Saturday will begin at 7 p.m. The youngest team in the Big Sky, there will be no Senior Day as the Hornets have three juniors, five sophomores and a school-record eight freshmen on the roster.
February 24, 2015 AVEN LEE HIRED AS ASSISTANT VOLLEYBALL COACH
February 3, 2015 TASMAN DWYER TO BE INDUCTED INTO HORNET VOLLEYBALL HALL OF FAME
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November 15, 2014 VOLLEYBALL FINISHES SEASON WITH FIVE-SET HOME LOSS TO SOUTHERN UTAH
November 13, 2014 VOLLEYBALL WINS, EXTENDS HOMECOURT DOMINANCE OF NORTHERN ARIZONA
November 12, 2014 VOLLEYBALL CLOSES 2014 SEASON THIS WEEK AT HOME
November 8, 2014 VOLLEYBALL LOSES ROAD MATCH AT FIRST-PLACE IDAHO STATE
November 6, 2014 VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN FIVE SETS AT WEBER STATE
November 5, 2014 VOLLEYBALL GETS SET FOR FINAL REGULAR SEASON ROAD TRIP
November 1, 2014 VOLLEYBALL POSTS COMEBACK 3-2 VICTORY AT PORTLAND STATE
October 30, 2014 VOLLEYBALL DROPS FOUR-SET GRINDER TO FIRST-PLACE NORTH DAKOTA
October 25, 2014 VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN FOUR SETS AT MONTANA
October 24, 2014 VOLLEYBALL BACK ON WINNING TRACK, SWEEPS ROAD MATCH AT MONTANA STATE
October 22, 2014 VOLLEYBALL TRAVELS TO MONTANA FOR A PAIR OF MATCHES
October 18, 2014 VOLLEYBALL DROPS HOME MATCH TO PORTLAND STATE
October 16, 2014 VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN THREE SETS AT NORTHERN COLORADO
October 15, 2014 VOLLEYBALL PLAYS TWICE THIS WEEK; HOME MATCH ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON
October 11, 2014 VOLLEYBALL DROPS HOME MATCH TO IDAHO
October 9, 2014 VOLLEYBALL LOSES TO EASTERN WASHINGTON, FALLS IN FIVE SETS AGAIN
October 7, 2014 VOLLEYBALL CONCLUDES HOMESTAND THURSDAY AND SATURDAY
October 4, 2014 VOLLEYBALL LOSES ANOTHER HEARTBREAKER, THIS TIME TO WEBER STATE
October 2, 2014 VOLLEYBALL FIGHTS BACK BUT FALLS AT HOME TO IDAHO STATE, 3-1
September 30, 2014 VOLLEYBALL BEGINS HOMESTAND THURSDAY VS. IDAHO STATE
September 27, 2014 VOLLEYBALL FALLS AT NORTHERN ARIZONA
September 26, 2014 SACRAMENTO STATE WOMEN’S ATHLETICS TO HOST OKTOBERFEST ON OCT. 4
September 25, 2014 VOLLEYBALL LETS THREE MATCH POINTS SLIP AWAY IN 3-2 LOSS AT SOUTHERN UTAH
September 23, 2014 VOLLEYBALL OPENS CONFERENCE PLAY THIS WEEK ON THE ROAD
September 20, 2014 VOLLEYBALL SPLITS FINAL TWO MATCHES AT VALPARAISO TOURNAMENT
September 19, 2014 VOLLEYBALL DROPS FIRST MATCH OF TOURNAMENT TO GEORGE WASHINGTON
September 16, 2014 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS UC DAVIS TONIGHT AT 7 P.M.
September 16, 2014 SHORT-HANDED VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO UC DAVIS IN FIVE-SET GRINDER
September 13, 2014 VOLLEYBALL BEATS BAKERSFIELD, WILL PLAY FOR TOURNEY TITLE TONIGHT
September 13, 2014 VOLLEYBALL CONCLUDES TOURNEY WITH 2-1 RECORD AFTER LOSS AT CAL POLY
September 12, 2014 VOLLEYBALL OPENS TOURNAMENT WITH 3-2 WIN OVER SAN JOSE STATE
September 9, 2014 VOLLEYBALL PLAYS AT NEVADA, TRAVELS TO CAL POLY TOURNEY
September 9, 2014 VOLLEYBALL DROPS ROAD MATCH AT NEVADA
September 6, 2014 VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO LOYOLA MARYMOUNT IN THREE SETS
September 6, 2014 VOLLEYBALL CONCLUDES TOURNAMENT WITH LOSS TO UC SANTA BARBARA
September 5, 2014 VOLLEYBALL DROPS ITS HOME OPENER TO FRESNO STATE, 3-2
September 2, 2014 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS 12TH-ANNUAL SACRAMENTO STATE INVITATIONAL THIS WEEK
August 30, 2014 VOLLEYBALL DROPS NAIL BITER TO MORGAN STATE
August 29, 2014 VOLLEYBALL DROPS SEASON OPENER TO UNCG
August 29, 2014 VOLLEYBALL BOUNCES BACK WITH 3-1 VICTORY OVER ETSU
August 26, 2014 VOLLEYBALL OPENS SEASON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY IN CHARLOTTE
August 25, 2014 2014 VOLLEYBALL SEASON OUTLOOK
August 22, 2014 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS ALUMNI MATCH ON SATURDAY AT 5 P.M.
August 18, 2014 VOLLEYBALL ADDS ALL-STATE OUTSIDE HITTER LAUREN KISSELL
August 12, 2014 VOLLEYBALL TABBED EIGHTH IN THE BIG SKY PRESEASON POLL
April 16, 2014 VOLLEYBALL RELEASES ITS 2014 SCHEDULE