PORTLAND, Ore. — Sacramento State won two of the first three sets, and held a 14-9 advantage in the fourth before Portland State stormed back and eventually beat the Hornets, 3-2 (25-19, 21-25, 16-25, 25-19, 15-12), on Tuesday evening at Viking Pavilion.
Things were looking good when a Cianna Andrews kill allowed the Hornets to take a 14-9 lead in the fourth set. Needing just 11 points for victory, Sacramento State instead saw Portland State go on a 10-1 run to take control of the fourth set and the match. In fact, the Vikings never trailed in the fifth set, beginning the frame on a 5-1 run and never looking back. Sacramento State cut the deficit in the fifth to 12-11, but would get no closer.
The Hornets dropped to 14-16 overall and 9-8 in the Big Sky, and will play the regular season finale on Saturday at Northern Colorado. Of Sacramento State's eight losses to Big Sky teams, five have come in five sets. The Hornets are now 7-5 in five setters overall, and 4-5 in five-set outcomes against league opposition. The 12 five-set matches ties for the most in a season (2009) in program history.
Sacramento State has already clinched a spot in the Big Sky Tournament which takes place Nov. 28-30 inside the Nest. The Hornets, who are hosting the eight-team event for the second time in three years, can finish no higher than the 4 seed and no lower than the 6 seed depending on other Big Sky results the rest of the week.
Four quarterfinal matches begin the tournament on Thanksgiving Day. For the tournament schedule, ticket information and much more, please click here.
Portland State scored five of the first six points of the fifth set, and withstood a late Sacramento State rally to win the frame and match. After a kill from Andrews got the Hornets within, 12-11, of the Vikings' lead, PSU proceeded to close the set on a 3-1 run. The Vikings scored four points from the service line in the frame, taking advantage of two aces and a pair of Sacramento State service errors.
The Vikings kept their Big Sky Tournament hopes alive and improved to 10-18 overall and 6-11 in the Big Sky The Hornets and Viks split the season series after the Hornets swept PSU earlier this year inside the Nest. Sacramento State also had its nine-match winning streak against the Vikings snapped as the last Portland State win in the series came on Oct. 18, 2014.
Sacramento State had more kills (61-56) and aces (13-6) than Portland State, but the Hornets hit just .221 compared to .286 for the Vikings. The stats in the fifth set were nearly identical for both teams except for the service line disparity.
Macey Hayden led the Hornets with 16 kills to go with a .294 hitting percentage and seven digs. Fellow outside hitter Sarah Davis had 15 kills, eight digs and three aces, and Andrews rounded out the Hornets with double-figure kills as she finished with 11 and three blocks. Setter Ashtin Olin had 52 assists, five aces, 16 digs and four blocks.
Middle blocker Tiyanane Kamba-Griffin had eight kills, three blocks and a match-high .538 hitting percentage as the true freshman had just one error in 13 attacks. Libero Michelle Taynton had 19 digs, and rightside hitter Kayla Subbert posted six kills and two aces. Six different Hornets had at least one ace, but the team's 13 kills accompanied 13 costly service errors.
Parker Webb led PSU with 14 kills, including three in the fifth set. Jasmine Powell had 13 kills and Ellie Snook led all players with 24 digs.
Sacramento State closes the regular season on Saturday at Northern Colorado in a matchup that will begin at 6 p.m. PST.
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