SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State held large advantages in nearly every statistical category on the way to a three-set sweep (25-17, 25-16, 25-22) of Montana in the third Big Sky Conference volleyball match of the season for both teams Thursday evening at Colberg Court.
With the victory, Sacramento State (9-8, 3-0) has now won its first three conference matches of the season, which included a pair of road wins last week. Amazingly, today marks the only home contest until Oct. 20 as Sacramento State plays each of its next five matches on the road.
The last time the Hornets began the Big Sky season with three straight wins came during the 2007 season when Sacramento State won its first eight league matches. That 2007 squad would eventually win the Big Sky title and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Sacramento State and fellow South Division foe Northern Arizona (13-3, 3-0) are now the only two teams in the 12-member Big Sky with perfect 3-0 conference records.
With the loss, Montana, which was coming off a home win over Idaho, dropped to 4-9 overall and 1-2 in the Big Sky. The Hornets are now 29-13 all-time against the Grizzlies, including a 16-4 mark when playing at Colberg Court.
In tonight's match, Sacramento State held large advantages over the Griz in kills (41-28), hitting percentage (.223-.061), assists (39-28) and digs (58-50). The Hornets, who also had 6.0 team blocks, averaged a robust 19.33 digs per set. The Hornets' 41 kills came with just 16 errors in 112 attacks while Montana had 28 kills, 21 errors and 115 swings.
The Hornets used a 20-8 run in the first set and a 13-6 run in the second set to easily take the first two frames. In the third, after Montana tied things at 22-22, Sacramento State received a kill from Morgan Stanley followed by back-to-back kills from Madeline Cannon to put the match away.
Setter Kennedy Kurtz, who is the reigning Big Sky Player of the Week, continued to play well, notching four kills, a .667 hitting percentage, 31 assists, an ace and nine digs.
Outside hitter Shannon Boyle posted her team-high 14th match with double figures in kills after finishing with a match-high 11 to go along with six digs, an ace and three blocks. Fellow outside hitter Mikaela Nocetti added 10 kills and four digs. Cannon had nine kills, an ace and a .471 hitting percentage, and Lexie Skalbeck (13) and Brigitte Murdock (12) combined for 25 of the Hornets' 58 digs.
Lana Brown had a pair of kills and a .400 hitting percentage, Courtney Dietrich and Brie Gathright both had two kills and two blocks, and Paige Swinney added five digs.
Sacramento State returns to action on Saturday for the first of five straight road matches. On Saturday, the Hornets will play at Portland State in a matchup that begins at 7:30 p.m.
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