VOLLEYBALL WINS IN DRAMATIC FASHION; WILL HOST BIG SKY TOURNAMENT NOV. 16-18
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - After trailing 2-0 in games and 9-0 in game three, the Sacramento State volleyball team mounted an improbable comeback to defeat Cal State Northridge, 3-2 (14-16, 6-15, 16-14, 15-9, 15-13), in both teams' Big Sky finale Saturday evening at the Matadome. With the win, Sacramento State is crowned Big Sky champions for the fourth-consecutive season and will host the conference tournament Nov. 16-18. Sacramento State and Northern Arizona both finished the season with 12-4 records but the Hornets gained the right to host because they own the tiebreaker over the Lumberjacks.
Sacramento State finished the regular season with a 19-11 overall record while Cal State Northridge finished at 16-9 overall and 9-7 in the conference. Accompanying the Hornets in the Big Sky Tournament will be Northern Arizona, Eastern Washington, Montana State, Cal State Northridge and Montana as the top six teams in the conference advance.
A season-high six Hornets finished in double figure kills in the match led by sophomore Jayme Wright's 20. Tasman Dwyer (18), Esther Rogers (13), Kazmiera Imrie (12), Lisa Beauchene (10) and Sarah Chlebana (10) rounded out the Hornets in double figures. Imrie also added a career and match-high nine blocks while Chlebana posted a team-high 24 digs.
Three Matadors finished with 20-plus kills including Laura Szymanski (28), Jennifer McNees (26) and Alexis Cormier (23).
Sacramento State's 263 attempts in the match tied the fourth highest total in school single-match history while the team's 82 assists tied for eighth all-time, 87 kills tied for ninth all-time and 120 digs tied for 10th all time.
After dropping the first two games of the match, Sacramento State trailed by scores of 9-0 and 14-10 in the third before finally running off six unanswered points to take the third frame. The Hornets staved off four Matador match points in the game.
After Cal State Northridge hit .215 and .375 in games one and two, respectively, the Matadors hit just .101, .127 and .087 in games three through five, respectively. The Matadors hit .188 for the match compared the Hornets' .236. Sacramento State totalled a season-high 19.0 team blocks as four different Hornets recorded at least five blocks.
The Matadors held the advantage in kills (100-87), assists (94-82), digs (133-120) and total attempts (288-236).
As the tournament hosts, Sacramento State will receive a first round bye in the Big Sky Tournament and will play at either 5 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. on riday, Nov. 17, in Hornet Gym. The tournament, which is a single elimination format, will consist of two matches on Thursday, Nov. 16, two on Friday, Nov. 17, and the championship match will take place Sunday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. All matches will be played in Hornet Gym on the Sacramento State campus.