HONOLULU, Hawaii - Denver had 16 more kills than Sacramento State, and finished with a .317 hitting percentage on the way to a three-set sweep (25-16, 25-16, 25-21) of the Hornets in the first round of the Rainbow Wahine Invitational on Thursday evening.
Playing in Hawaii for the second time ever, and the first since 1996, Sacramento State was competing in the first of three matches at the four-team tournament. The Hornets (2-3 overall) will also play tournament host and 20th-ranked Hawai'i tomorrow at 10 p.m. PDT, and Army on Saturday at 2 p.m. PDT.
With the win, Denver improved to 4-0 this season and 31-3 dating back to the beginning of last year. The Pioneers defeated the Hornets in five sets in Denver a year ago.
Denver held large statistical advantages over the Hornets in kills (45-29) hitting percentage (.317-.180), assists (37-24) and aces (7-2). Sacramento State finished with season lows in kills, assists, aces, digs (36) and team blocks (4.0).
Hornet middle blocker Cianna Andrews and outside hitter Macey Hayden each had a team-high seven kills while Andrews added a pair of blocks and a .364 hitting percentage. Making her first collegiate start, true freshman middle blocker Tiyanane Kamba-Griffin had five kills without an error, two blocks and a team-best .385 hitting percentage.
Outside hitter Sarah Davis, who had led the Hornets in kills in each of the first four matches of the season, was limited to four kills on 23 attacks. Both Ashtin Olin (two sets) and McKenna Smith (one set) played at setter this evening. Olin had 14 assists and Smith finished with 10.
Libero Paige Swinney had a match-high 13 digs, and has now led Sacramento State in digs in every match this year. Rightside hitter Kayla Subbert added five kills, an ace and three digs.
For Denver, Tina Boe had 11 kills and a .769 hitting percentage while Lydia Bartalo posted 10 kills and three of the Pioneers' seven aces.
Tomorrow's match against Hawai'i will feature free video, and that link can be found by clicking here.
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