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SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento State had a match point at 14-13 in the fifth set, but CSUN responded by winning the next three points to eventually defeat the Hornets, 3-2 (25-18, 18-25, 23-25, 25-14, 16-14) in the second round of the Hornet Invitational at Colberg Court.
In a fifth set that featured seven ties and six lead changes, it was CSUN that eventually prevailed. The Hornets held an 8-5 lead before the Matadors answered with a 4-0 run, and Northridge had a 13-10 lead before Sacramento State responded with a 4-0 run. However, CSUN's Aery Owens had two of her team-high 18 kills sandwiched around a Hornet setting error during the match's final three points.
Owens finished the set with five kills and a .571 hitting percentage, accounting for five of the team's seven kills in the fifth. Both teams had seven kills in the final frame, including four kills and a .500 hitting percentage for the Hornets' Macey Hayden.
Coupled with the Hornets' 3-1 victory over Utah State earlier today, the Hornets are now 1-1 at the season-opening tournament with one more match to play tomorrow. Arizona is 2-0 after Day 1, which the Hornets and CSUN are both 1-1, and Utah State is 0-2. Two more matches will take place tomorrow with Utah State playing CSUN at 11 a.m., and the Hornets taking on Arizona at 1:30 p.m.
Both teams didn't hit particularly well in tonight's match as CSUN hit .186 while the Hornets had a .171 hitting percentage. Sacramento State held slight advantages in kills (60-56), digs (80-76) and team blocks (11.0-8.0).
Hayden, who is a sophomore outside hitter, posted career highs in both kills (16) and digs (14) while also finishing with two blocks. Her previous career bests were four kills and six digs. Sophomore rightside hitter Cianna Andrews had a career-high tying seven kills to go with a .294 hitting percentage. Also notching a career high was junior outside hitter Sarah Davis who had 14 kills and a career-best 20 digs.
Lana Brown had eight kills and five blocks, Gathright had six kills and six blocks, libero Paige Swinney had a team-high 21 digs and Skyler Takeda finished with 12 digs. Battling cramps throughout the fourth and fifth sets, freshman setter Ashtin Olin had six kills, a .385 hitting percentage, 46 assists, two aces, eight digs and a pair of blocks.
After taking a 2-1 lead, Sacramento State hit .065 in the fourth set and .000 in the fifth as the Matadors were able to storm back and win their third straight over the Hornets dating back to 2011.
For Northridge, who fell to Arizona earlier today in three sets, Owens had 18 kills, 16 digs and a .361 hitting percentage. Lexi McLeod added 15 kills and 13 digs, and Nicole Nevarez had 12 kills.
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