BEAL AND GENGER LEAD VOLLEYBALL TO THREE-SET SWEEP OF SOUTHERN UTAH
Rightside hitter Kayla Beal finished with 11 kills and a career-high .647 hitting percentage in tonight's win
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State’s Kayla Beal (11 kills, .647) and Jessie Genger (10 kills, .391) combined for 21 kills and a .500 hitting percentage to help lead the Hornets to a three-set sweep (25-15, 25-14, 25-9) of Southern Utah in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Thursday evening at Colberg Court.
Beal’s 11 kills were a match high and the .647 hitting percentage was a career high as the junior rightside hitter had no errors in 17 attacks. She also tacked on a career-high tying three aces and posted a match-high tying three blocks. Genger’s 10 kills came with just one error in 23 attacks, and she also had eight digs.
Overall, Sacramento State hit .395 (43-9-86), which was the team’s second best mark of the season and easily the best against a Big Sky opponent. The previous high against a league foe was .246 vs. Eastern Washington on Sept. 13.
Colberg Court was a welcome sight to the Hornets as the team completed a season-long five-match road trip on Monday.
Sacramento State improved to 8-15 overall and 4-9 in the Big Sky, and will play five of its final seven matches of the regular season inside the friendly confines. That includes a Saturday matinee against Northern Arizona at 1 p.m.
Southern Utah, which was coming off a three-set home sweep of Weber State, dropped to 9-15 and 5-8 with the loss.
The Hornets had little trouble with the Thunderbirds, dominating nearly every statistical category including kills (43-20), hitting percentage (.395-.188), assists (39-19), aces (10-2) and digs (39-31). Five different Hornets had at least one ace, including Sydney Kordic’s match-high four. Entering the contest, Kordic already ranked first in the Big Sky in aces per set, and now easily leads the league with 38 total aces.
After the Hornets took an 11-10 lead in the first set, they trailed just once more the remainder of the match, and that came when the team committed a service error to start the second frame. The win marked the biggest blowout victory of the season as Southern Utah combined to score just 38 points.
Four of Sacramento State’s starters hit better than .380, and the team hit .500, .286 and .444, respectively, in sets 1-3. Middle blocker Ashley Newcomb had seven kills and a .385 hitting percentage, setter Hannah Hettinga had two kills, 34 assists and a 1.000 hitting percentage, and Janelle Currey added nine kills and 10 digs. Kordic’s four aces came without a service error, and her 11 digs were a match high. Middle blocker Olivia Moss added three blocks.
Only one Southern Utah player had more than five kills as the team was led by Analaine Mailoto’s seven kills. The Thunderbirds’ 20 kills were easily an opponent low this season, surpassing the previous mark of 27 by Jacksonville on Aug. 25.
NOTES -- Tonight marked the first leg of a season-long four-match homestand for Sacramento State that includes matches next week against both Northern Colorado (Nov. 1) and North Dakota (Nov. 3)…since joining the Big Sky 16 years ago, the Hornets are now 109-19 when playing against a conference foe at home.