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SACRAMENTO -- Mikaela Nocetti had a match-high 14 kills, Paige Swinney led all players with 23 digs and Lana Brown tacked on a match-best nine blocks to lead the Hornets to a 3-1 (17-25, 25-12, 25-19, 25-20) victory over UC Riverside in the second round of the Sacramento State Volleyball Invitational.
Coupled with the team's 3-1 victory over Nevada last night, Sacramento State is now 2-0 at the four-team event, and will play for the tournament title tonight vs. Seattle at 7:30 p.m. The Hornets improved to 5-5 overall this season, including a 3-3 mark inside the Nest.
With the loss, UC Riverside, which fell to Seattle last night in five sets, dropped to 0-2 at the tournament and 4-4 this season. The Hornets are now 9-6 all-time against the Highlanders, including a 4-3 mark when the two teams play inside the Nest.
Sacramento State had a team-high 15.0 blocks in this afternoon's win, which contributed to UC Riverside hitting just .122. Three different Hornets had at least seven blocks, including Brown (8), setter Ashtin Olin (7) and middle blocker Brie Gathright (7). Sacramento State also had nine aces, as six different players had at least one ace. Gathright, Swinney and Skyler Takeda each had two aces.
After dropping the first set, the Hornets had little trouble in the final three frames, holding Riverside to a -.105 hitting percentage in the second, .103 in the third and .191 in the fourth.
Nocetti finished with 14 kills and eight digs while Macey Hayden had nine kills and a career-best 17 digs. The 23 digs for Swinney marked her fourth match this season with 20-plus digs.
Brown had nine kills to go with her eight blocks, and Gathright had six kills and a .333 hitting percentage to go with the seven blocks and two aces. Olin, a freshman setter, had 42 assists, four digs and seven blocks. Rightside hitter Sarah Davis added five kills, four blocks and a .278 hitting percentage.
After tonight's match against Seattle, the Hornets do not return home again until their first Big Sky Conference home match against Southern Utah on Sept. 27.