Big Sky Conference standings
SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento State hit .330, its second highest hitting percentage of the season, while limiting Eastern Washington to a .029 mark on the way to a three-set sweep of the Eagles (25-22, 25-8, 25-18) on Thursday evening inside the Nest.
The Hornets had 20 more kills than EWU (43-23), and the .029 hitting percentage was the lowest by a Sacramento State opponent this season. At one point during the match, the Hornets ripped off a 28-5 run that spanned both the second and third sets.
The victory allowed the Hornets (15-12, 10-3) to keep pace in the Big Sky Conference standings as Idaho (11-2) won on the road at Portland State this evening. Sacramento State remains in a tie for second place with Northern Arizona (10-3), which won at Montana tonight. Only five conference matches are left on the regular season schedule. Tonight's win also clinched the Hornets a spot in the Big Sky Tournament, which will take place Nov. 22-24 in Greeley, Colo.
Sacramento State has now won seven of the last eight matches with each of those victories resulting in a three-set sweep. The Hornets improved to 7-0 at home against Big Sky opposition, and have now won 31 consecutive regular season matches at home against league foes. That streak dates back to the beginning of the 2015 season.
Of the Hornets' five matches left on the regular season schedule, two will come at home. That includes arguably the biggest match of the season Saturday night when the Hornets host Idaho at 7 p.m. Should Sacramento State win that match, it would move into a tie for first place with the Vandals.
The loss dropped Eastern Washington to 8-17 overall and 0-13 in league. The Eagles have lost 14 straight after beginning the season with an 8-3 record. Sacramento State swept the season series over the Eagles, which includes a four-set win in Cheney on Oct. 6. Overall, Sacramento State is 36-17 all-time against Eastern Washington and 23-5 at home.
Sacramento State dominated the match in nearly every statistical category, including a 55-46 advantage in digs and 9.0-1.0 in team blocks. Really, the only part of the game the Hornets struggled was from the service line where the team had four aces compared to 13 errors. Sacramento State head coach Ruben Volta used 11 players in tonight's match.
Junior Sarah Davis led everybody with 10 kills despite playing just two sets. The outside hitter also had a .409 hitting percentage and recorded her 500th career kill early in the second set. Davis was one of five Hornets to hit better than .300, a list that includes rightside hitter Cianna Andrews posting seven kills and a .467 hitting percentage. Setter Ashtin Olin hit .500 with five kills, 29 assists and four blocks, middle blocker Lana Brown hit .545 with six kills and four blocks, and middle Brie Gathright had three kills, two blocks and hit .333.
Libero Paige Swinney had a team-high 17 digs, outside hitter Mikaela Nocetti had seven kills and 13 digs, and defensive specialist Skyler Takeda had two aces and six digs. Macey Hayden chipped in three kills and three digs, and Sarah Falk had two kills and a pair of blocks.
For Eastern Washington, Catelyn Linke was the only player with more than five kills as she finished with eight but was limited to a .000 hitting percentage.
The Hornets will host the first of just two remaining home games on Saturday against Idaho at 7 p.m. The Vandals defeated Sacramento State in four sets earlier this year in Moscow.