VOLLEYBALL BEATS EASTERN WASHINGTON, WILL GAIN NO. 2 SEED WITH A WIN SATURDAY
Middle blocker Olivia Moss posted a match-best nine blocks to go along with four kills and a .333 hitting percentage
CHENEY, Wash. -- Sacramento State limited Eastern Washington to a -.158 hitting percentage in the fifth and decisive set to go on and defeat the Eagles, 3-2 (25-21, 24-26, 20-25, 25-22, 15-8), in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Friday evening at Reese Court.
On a night when both teams did not play particularly well offensively, it was the Hornets who finished the fifth set on a 12-3 run to erase what had been an early 5-3 deficit. The Eagles had just two kills in the fifth set with five errors in 19 total attacks. In fact, Eastern Washington’s final kill of the match came at 8-6. In that fifth set, Hornet middle blocker Olivia Moss had two kills and two blocks, rightside hitter Jessie Genger had two kills, outside hitter Eryn Kirby tacked on two kills and libero Breanne Menees had five of her team-high 30 digs.
With the victory, Sacramento State (17-13, 10-5) assures itself of finishing the season with a record above .500, and will now either assume the No. 2 or 3 seed in next week’s Big Sky Tournament in Portland. Regardless of the outcome of tomorrow night’s season finale at Portland State, the Hornets and Vikings will play again on Friday night (Nov. 25) at 7:30 p.m. in the Big Sky Tournament semifinals.
Should the Hornets defeat Portland State tomorrow night, Sacramento State would be the No. 2 seed and the Vikings would be the 3 seed. If Portland State wins tomorrow, it assumes the 2 seed and the Hornets are the 3 seed. Northern Colorado is the No. 1 seed and will face No. 4 seed Eastern Washington (13-14, 9-7) on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the other semifinal. The winners of the semifinal matches will play each other for the championship and automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament on Saturday (Nov. 26) at 7 p.m.
The Hornets, who will finish above the .500 mark for the first time since 2007 regardless of what happens the rest of the year, swept the season series with Eastern Washington and are now 29-13 all-time against the Eagles.
What made the victory even more impressive is the Hornets were resting a pair of starters (rightside hitter Kayla Beal and middle blocker Maddison Thivierge) because of injury.
In a match that featured 16 ties, eight lead changes and took two hours and 27 minutes to complete, Sacramento State found a way to win despite hitting just .068 and recording eight less kills (50-42) and 15 less digs (107-92) than Eastern Washington. The Hornets did have 11 aces compared to the Eagles’ four, including four aces from both Menees and outside hitter Janelle Currey. Three of those aces for Menees came on back-to-back-to-back points midway through the first set.
Four different Sacramento State players posted doubles figures in digs, comprised of Menees, Currey (nine kills, 24 digs), Kirby (11 kills, 15 digs) and setter Hannah Hettinga (20 assists, 11 digs). Kirby was the only Hornet with double figures in kills as both Currey and Genger had nine.
Moss finished with four kills, a .333 hitting percentage (4-0-12) and match-best nine blocks. She had four more blocks than any other Hornet as Sacramento State finished with 15.0 team blocks. In addition, Moss was the only Sacramento State player to hit better than .167. Middle blocker Kelsey Elston had seven kills and five blocks, defensive specialist Sydney Kordic added seven digs, and the duo of Genger and Currey both had four blocks.
For Eastern Washington, Chenoa Rossi-Childress had a team-high 13 kills and six blocks, while Shelby Puckett added 11 kills and 17 digs, and Lindsey Petroni had a match-best 33 digs.
For more Big Sky Tournament information, click here.