LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Playing its best opponent of the season, Sacramento State was defeated in three sets by Arizona in the second round of the Borderland Invitational on Friday evening at the Pan American Center.
Arizona, which is currently receiving votes in the AVCA top 25 poll, improved to 4-4 with the victory. Two of those four losses for the Wildcats have come against teams ranked among the top six in the nation.
The Hornets dropped to 4-5 overall, and 0-2 at the two-day tournament, which includes a 3-2 loss earlier in the day to host New Mexico State. Sacramento State will conclude the tournament tomorrow at UTEP at 5:30 p.m. PDT.
Arizona held the Hornets to season lows in kills (28), hitting percentage (.034), assists (27), aces (1), digs (42) and team blocks (1.0). In fact, Sacramento State's largest lead of the match came at 4-2 early in the second set.
Arizona, conversely, hit .245 and finished with 43 kills, five aces, 58 digs and 10.0 team blocks. The match ended in just one hour and 12 minutes. It didn't help that Sacramento State, fresh off a two hour and 45 minute grinder of a match against New Mexico State, had just an hour and 15 minutes of rest between the two contests.
No Hornet had more than seven kills, and only libero Lexie Skalbeck (13) had more than seven digs. Outside hitters Morgan Stanley and Mikaela Nocetti both had seven kills while middle blocker Lana Brown had three kills and a team-high .500 hitting percentage. Brown was the only Hornet to finish with a hitting percentage above .200.
A total of 13 Sacramento State players appeared in the match. Stanley had the team's lone ace and Brigitte Murdock was second on the team with seven digs. Courtney Dietrich, who entered the match with a .444 hitting percentage, was limited to a pair of kills and a .167 hitting percentage. It snapped a string of 11 straight matches (dating back to last year) with a hitting percentage above .300.
Arizona's Kendra Dahlke had 19 kills in 45 attacks, huge numbers for a three-set victory. In fact, her 45 swings were 22 more than any other Wildcat and no other Arizona player had more than eight kills.
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