VOLLEYBALL’S WINNING STREAK SNAPPED IN 3-1 LOSS AT IDAHO

VOLLEYBALL’S WINNING STREAK SNAPPED IN 3-1 LOSS AT IDAHO

MOSCOW, Idaho — Sacramento State allowed its largest hitting percentage of the season (.343) and posted a season low in team blocks (5.0) on the way to a 3-1 loss at Idaho (25-12, 21-25, 25-18, 25-17) on Thursday evening at Memorial Gym.

Prior to tonight, only one opponent had hit better than .300 against the Hornets' defense this season, and that was Boise State (.301). However, the Vandals had 58 kills with just nine errors in 143 attacks. Idaho hit at least .250 in all four sets, including a .394 mark in the second and .472 in the fourth. In addition, Sacramento State, which entered the match second in the nation in total blocks, finished with just the five blocks tonight.

The Hornets had won a season high three straight, but that streak was snapped as the team fell to 8-11 overall and 3-2 in the Big Sky Conference. Idaho, which was selected to finish first in the Big Sky preseason coaches poll (the Hornets were third), improved to 9-8 and 3-2. The Vandals played their first four conference matches of the season on the road prior to returning to their home floor tonight for the first time since Aug. 25.

Sacramento State has gotten used to playing from behind this season as the team is now 4-15 in the first set this year. The Hornets usually rebound to win the second set, as they did tonight, but the first set problems have not made it easy for a program that is trying to defend its Big Sky regular season title from a year ago.

Idaho finished the match with 11 more kills (58-47) and the Hornets were limited to a .140 hitting percentage. Sacramento State finished with six aces, including three from middle blocker Brie Gathright.

Only two Hornets finished the match hitting better than .150, including Gathright who finished with six kills, three aces, three blocks and a team-best .385 hitting percentage.

Three Sacramento State players finished with double-doubles, comprised of outside hitters Mikaela Nocetti (14 kills, 11 digs) and Sarah Davis (11 kills, 12 digs), and setter Ashtin Olin (42 assists, 12 digs). Rightside hitter Cianna Andrews had nine kills and a .250 hitting percentage, and middle blocker Lana Brown had five kills.

Defensively, four Hornets finished with double figures in digs, including libero Paige Swinney who had 12. Skyler Takeda added an ace and five digs.

For Idaho, Kaela Straw had 18 kills and a .474 hitting percentage, Sarah Sharp 15 kills and a .317 hitting percentage, Nikki Ball had seven kills and hit .778, and libero Alycia Wodke led everyone with 28 digs.

Sacramento State concludes the week with another road match on Saturday at Eastern Washington at 6 p.m.