VOLLEYBALL IMPROVES TO 4-2 IN THE BIG SKY WITH VICTORY OVER MONTANA STATE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sophomore Maddison Thivierge had a match-high 12 kills and four blocks to lead Sacramento State to a three-set sweep (25-21, 25-20, 25-15) of Montana State in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Saturday evening at Colberg Court.
With the victory, Sacramento State (6-15, 4-2 Big Sky) has won each of its four home conference matches this year, comprised of victories over Idaho State, Weber State, Montana and Montana State. Overall, the team has now won four of its last five matches after beginning the season with a 2-14 record.
Despite beginning the year with an 0-2 conference record, Sacramento State has ripped off four straight league wins and the team’s 4-2 record puts them all alone in third place in the Big Sky standings, a half game behind Portland State (5-2) and Northern Colorado (5-2).
In addition, the Hornets improved their record to 30-5 all-time against Montana State, including a 17-1 mark in Sacramento. The team has now won 65 of its last 66 regular-season home matches against Big Sky competition dating back to 1999.
Montana dropped to 3-13 overall and 0-6 in the Big Sky, and has lost each of its last nine matches.
“I was happy that we sustained a pretty good level play throughout the entire match,” Sacramento State head coach Ruben Volta said. “I thought we served Montana State tough, and I liked how consistent we played in the third set.
“We play much better at home and we just seem comfortable on our home floor. It is, and will continue to be, very important for us to win at home, especially because of the way the Big Sky is shaking out this year.”
Sacramento State controlled the match throughout, as Montana State’s biggest lead during the entire contest came at 5-4 early in the second set. The Hornets led the Bobcats in kills (40-33), hitting percentage (.216-.099), assists (37-29), digs (51-48) and team blocks (8.0-7.0).
Thivierge’s 12 kills accompanied a .381 hitting percentage, as the middle hitter had just four attack errors in 21 attacks. Freshman Eryn Kirby added eight kills and eights digs, junior Desiree Hoyum had seven kills and seven digs, senior Brittany Ferguson tallied five kills, two blocks and a .417 hitting percentage, and freshman Cayti Crowton added four kills and a match-high .571 hitting percentage.
Defensively for Sacramento State, five players had at least seven digs, led by senior Katie Van Der Wende’s match-high 14 digs. Junior Melissa Melcher had nine digs, and senior setter Rose Burke had 36 assists, nine digs and three blocks. Freshman Kelsey Elston posted three kills and three blocks.
For Montana State, Laura Viren and Macy Merrell each had nine kills to lead the Bobcats.
Sacramento State returns to action next week when the team travels to both Portland State (Friday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m.) and Eastern Washington (Saturday, Oct. 18, 7 p.m.).