VOLLEYBALL ADVANCES TO BIG SKY TITLE MATCH, WILL FACE TOP-SEEDED PORTLAND STATE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento State women’s volleyball team punched its ticket to the Big Sky Tournament championship match for the eighth straight year with a convincing 3-0 win over Eastern Washington, Friday night at the Hornets Nest.
The Hornets hit .394 as a team and won all three games by at least 10 points in a 30-20, 30-17, 30-20 win over the Eagles — a team they had faced in the previous five championship matches.
With the victory, Sacramento State improved to 27-7 on the season and secured a date against Portland State in Saturday’s title bout. The Vikings advanced with a five-game win over Weber State after overcoming a 2-0 deficit. Portland State and the Hornets split two regular season matches, with each team winning on its home floor.
Seniors Missie Stidham, Lindsay Haupt and Michelle Franz carried Sacramento State in the win over Eastern Washington in the semifinals. Stidham, who was the Big Sky’s Newcomer of the Year, finished the match with 21 kills and nine digs while hitting .462. Haupt, the MVP of the regular season, added 10 kills and a .471 hitting percentage. Franz was the most efficient of the three, tallying 10 kills with only one error on 14 attempts (.643).
Sacramento State jumped ahead 3-0 to start the match and never looked back. EWU was able to pull within two on two occasions but the Hornets used a 9-2 run to stretch their lead to 19-10 and never led by fewer than seven points for the remainder of the game.
The second game saw Sacramento State stake a 10-5 lead early on which was eventually stretched to 23-10. In the game, the Hornets hit .414 as a team, with 17 kills and five errors. Conversely, Eastern Washington had nine kills and nine errors to hit .000.
The Eagles took their only lead of the match on the first point of game three. After Sacramento State recorded consecutive points to take the lead, the team exchanged points resulting in six ties. Knotted 12-12, Stidham had back-to-back kills to put the Hornets on top for the remainder of the game. Sacramento State closed out the contest on an 18-8 run and ended the match with an ace by Stidham.
In the other semifinal, Weber State jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of 30-22 victories in the first two games over top-seeded Portland State. However, the Vikings rallied to win the final three games in dramatic fashion (30-27, 30-28, 16-14).
Jennifer Oney led PSU with 21 kills while Marija Vojnovic and Michelle Segun contributed 19 and 15 respectively.
The Vikings advanced to the championship match for the first time in school history. The team had fallen in the semifinals each of the last three seasons.
The match will start at 7 p.m. at the Hornets Nest on the campus of Sacramento State.