GREELEY, Colo. --- Senior Atlee Hubbard tallied 27 kills and 17 digs and Sacramento State was credited with 19 blocks at the Hornets downed Northern Colorado, 3-1, in the regular-season finale for both teams. The teams split the first two games before Sacramento State left with a 30-26, 24-30, 30-26, 30-25, win in its first trip to Greeley.
The victory improved the Hornets to 28-5 overall and gave Sacramento State a 15-1 mark in Big Sky Conference play. The team, which clinched the Big Sky title on Thursday, will next host the conference tournament beginning on Thursday, Nov. 16. The Bears dropped to 12-15 overall and 7-9 in league play.
Hubbard was one of thee Hornets to record double-figure kills. The senior, hit .323 in the contest and also contributed four blocks. Jennifer Ferguson and Lindsay Haupt each added 15 kills.
Sacramento State trailed by as much as five (16-11) in the first game before coming back to tie the game at 20-20. The two teams traded points until the Hornets ended the game with four consecutive points to claim a 30-26 win. The streak of four came on a kill from Haupt, a block from Haupt and Anna Schoener, an ace from Ferguson and a second block from Haupt and Schoener.
The Bears led from wire-to-wire in the second game. UNC jumped to a 23-15 advantage only to see Sacramento State rally to make the score 27-23. The Hornets, however, could pull no closer and the match went into intermission tied at 1-1.
Sacramento State seized control of the contest with a win in game three. The Hornets led for the majority of the frame and Haupt closed the game with three kills over the final four points. The fourth game was also similar as the Sacramento State never trailed. Ferguson served the final three points and Northern Colorado committed errors on three of the final four points to seal the match.
As a team, the Hornets hit .270 while UNC tallied a .220 hitting percentage. Both teams had 72 kills but Sacramento State was able to outdig the Bears 68-67. The biggest difference came at the net where the Hornets had 19 blocks compared to just six for Northern Colorado.
Senior Kristin Lutes had 24 digs and was one of four players to have more than 10 for the Hornets. At the net, Michelle Franz had nine blocks and Leah Klemenhagen added seven.
Sacramento State will not compete during the first round of the Big Sky Tournament on Thursday. As one of the top two seeds, the Hornets will play the lowest remaining seed at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Thursdayâ€™s matches will pit the third seed against the sixth seed and the fourth seed against the fifth seed. The championship will be played on Saturday at 7 p.m.