EL PASO, Texas — Playing its 10th and final match of a long road trip to begin the season, Sacramento State dominated UTEP in a convincing three-set sweep of the Miners, 25-22, 25-13, 25-16, in final round of the Borderland Invitational on Saturday evening at Memorial Gym.
The Hornets (5-5 overall) conclude the two-day tournament, which spanned two states, with a 1-2 record. Yesterday, Sacramento State played a pair of matches in Las Cruces, N.M., and lost to both New Mexico State (3-2) and Arizona (3-0). The loss to New Mexico State was especially grueling as the Hornets fell in the fifth set by a 16-14 score. UTEP dropped to 2-7 with today's loss.
After 10 matches away from home to start the season, the Hornets will finally play their first contests inside the friendly confines of the Nest. The Hornets welcome rival UC Davis to Colberg Court on Tuesday at 7 p.m., and host the two-day, four-team Sacramento State Invitational on Friday and Saturday. The Hornets will play three matches during the tournament, including once on Friday and twice on Saturday.
In today's victory, the Hornets were only threatened in the first set as both teams were deadlocked at 22-22. However, the Hornets won three straight points on a Shannon Boyle kill, combo block from Courtney Dietrich and Mikaela Nocetti, and Madeline Cannon kill, respectively, to take the first set.
From there, it was all Sacramento State as the Hornets concluded the second frame on a 17-4 run, and used a 7-2 run midway through the third to take control.
The Hornets had 17 more kills than UTEP (48-31) while limiting the Miners to a .100 hitting percentage. That included UTEP hitting .098, .081 and .119, respectively, during the three sets. Sacramento State hit .266, and tallied six aces, 52 digs and 10.0 team blocks. The Hornets used 13 players in the match, and all 13 registered at least one kill, dig or block.
Boyle registered double figures in kills for the eighth time this year, finishing with a match-high 13 to go along with a .258 hitting percentage and three blocks. Dietrich had seven kills, two blocks and hit a match-high .667 with just one error in nine swings. That included a stretch midway through the second set where she had kills on three consecutive points. In the process, Dietrich raised her season hitting percentage to a robust .447.
Setter Kennedy Kurtz had three kills, a .600 hitting percentage, 41 assists, an ace and six digs while middle blocker Brie Gathright had five kills, a .364 hitting percentage and match-high six blocks. Mikaela Nocetti added eight kills and eight digs, and both Lexie Skalbeck and Paige Swinney had 12 digs. Julia Wright had half of the Hornets' six aces with a career-best three, and Madeline Cannon had six kills, three digs and three blocks.
Zero UTEP players had more than six kills with Kylie Baumgartner leading the way with six kills, four blocks and a .417 hitting percentage.
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September 26, 2016 KURTZ NAMED THE BIG SKY’S VOLLEYBALL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
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September 23, 2016 VOLLEYBALL OPENS CONFERENCE PLAY WITH 3-1 ROAD WIN AT WEBER STATE
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September 9, 2016 VOLLEYBALL DROPS ANOTHER CLOSE MATCH, FALLS IN FIVE TO NEW MEXICO STATE
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August 29, 2016 SKALBECK NAMED THE BIG SKY’S DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
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