CHICAGO — Despite limiting Bradley to a .110 hitting percentage and finishing the match with eight more kills, Sacramento State lost to the Braves, 3-1 (25-18, 25-23, 13-25, 26-24), in the second round of the UIC Volleyball Invitational.
Sacramento State was better statistically in a number of areas, including kills (52-44), hitting percentage (.136-.110), assists (47-43), digs (85-83) and team blocks (8-7). However, it was Bradley that won all the big points, which included finishing the fourth set on a 5-0 run to overcome a 24-21 deficit.
Also, in the second set, the Braves finished the frame on a 3-0 run to overcome a 23-22 Sacramento State lead.
With the loss, the Hornets (3-6 overall) are now 0-2 at the two-day tournament and wrap up the event tonight against host UIC at 5 p.m. PDT. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+, but viewers will need a subscription to the website to watch.
The victory allowed Bradley to improve to 3-5 overall and 1-1 at the tournament. The Braves lost to UIC last night in four sets. Bradley finished last season with a 24-9 record and advanced to the second round of the NIVC postseason tournament.
For the fourth straight match, Sacramento State started three freshmen (McKenna Smith, Kayla Subbert, Tiyanane Kamba-Griffin) in today's match.
Bradley hit .140 or less in each of the final three sets, but managed to pull out the win. That included hitting .060 in its victorious fourth set. In fact, no Brave player had more than 11 kills despite the match lasting four sets.
For Sacramento State, senior Sarah Davis had a career-high 22 kills to go along with 11 digs and a pair of blocks. She surpassed her previous high of 19 kills, set last season at Idaho State. Fellow outside hitter Macey Hayden posted her third straight double-double with 11 kill and 13 digs.
Subbert had eight kills and two blocks from the right side, middle Kamba-Griffin finished with five kills, three blocks and a .333 hitting percentage and Cianna Andrews led all players with four blocks.
Setter Ashtin Olin had 43 assists, two blocks and a career-high 18 digs, and Michelle Taynton had a team-high 19 digs. Taynton played the final three sets at libero. Smith and Paige Swinney each had six digs.
Five Bradley players had at least 12 digs, including Hannah Thompson who led the way with 10 kills and match-best 24 digs.