SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- UC Davis used a strong defensive effort, which included 65 digs and 11.0 team blocks over three sets, on the way to a sweep of Sacramento State (25-23, 25-22, 25-18) in a matchup of two rivals on Tuesday evening at Colberg Court.
The match marked the home opener for the Hornets and drew 658 fans, but Sacramento State (5-6) could not provide a win in a series the Hornets have dominated for a long time. In fact, Sacramento State is still 51-22 all-time against UC Davis, which included a three-set sweep of the Aggies last season in Davis.
Tonight, however, UC Davis (5-5) put forth a spirited defensive effort which saw the Aggies dig nearly every ball hit their way while limiting Sacramento State to a .119 hitting percentage. The Hornets hit .222, .136 and .000, respectively, over the three sets. The Aggies averaged a massive 21.67 digs and 3.67 blocks per set. UC Davis also seemingly won every big point as there were a number of nail biting points that swung the Aggies way during the first two sets.
The first set saw the Hornets hold a 21-20 lead but the Aggies finished on a 5-2 run. At 23-23, the Aggies took advantage of a Hornet service error followed by a Sacramento State attack error to win the frame. Service errors were a recurring theme throughout the evening as the Hornets finished with eight miscues, which included back breaking service errors at 23-23 of the first set and 22-22 of the second set.
During that second set, Sacramento State overcame a 19-14 deficit to eventually take the lead at 22-21 on a Madeline Cannon kill. However, the Aggies won four straight points, three of which came on a service error and two attack errors.
The Hornets opened the third set by winning the first three points but UC Davis went on a 16-8 run to take control of the set and eventually win the match.
Sacramento State's .119 hitting percentage was the team's third lowest output of the season as no Hornet with more than two kills hit better than .125. Outside hitter Shannon Boyle had a team-high 11 kills to go along with eight digs and two aces while Morgan Stanley finished with 10 kills and seven digs. Cannon, who played on the right side, added nine kills and three blocks.
Setter Kennedy Kurtz had two kills, 32 assists and 10 digs, and libero Lexie Skalbeck finished with 13 digs. Skalbeck and Kurtz were the only Sacramento State players with more than eight kills. The Hornets had just two aces and finished with 13 less digs and 3.0 less team blocks than the Aggies.
For UC Davis, middle blocker Lauren Jackson was unstoppable all evening, finishing with nine kills, a .900 hitting percentage (9-0-10) and eight blocks. Heather Reed added a match-best 20 digs and Malia Bolko had 18 digs.
The Hornets will now turn their attention to the 14th annual Sacramento State Invitational which takes place Friday and Saturday at Colberg Court. The four-team tournament begins with two matches on Friday and four more on Saturday. Sacramento State will play three times, beginning on Friday against Nevada at 7 p.m. For complete tournament information, including the schedule and ticket information, please click here.
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