VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN FOUR SETS AT WEBER STATE
OGDEN, Utah -- Four Weber State players had double figures in kills, led by Chelsea Bair’s match-high 17, as the Wildcats defeated Sacramento State, 3-1 (25-16, 21-25, 25-17, 25-19), in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Saturday evening at Swenson Gym.
Weber State totalled 20 more kills than Sacramento State (62-42), while the Hornets had zero service aces and recorded just a .126 hitting percentage (42-25-135). Sacramento State was also outblocked (14.0-8.0) and outdug (53-47) as the team suffered its third straight loss and fifth in the last six matches.
With the loss, the Hornets fell to 8-20 overall and 6-6 in the Big Sky. The six conference losses are the most for the program since joining the Big Sky in 1996 (the 1996 and 2000 teams had four losses). In addition, Sacramento State fell into a two-way tie for fifth place with Weber State (6-6) in the Big Sky standings. With four matches to play, the top six teams in the nine-member conference advance to the Big Sky Tournament, and the Hornets are 1.5 games ahead of seventh-place Northern Arizona (5-8). Sacramento State is in danger of finishing lower than second place in the league standings for the first time since joining the conference.
Weber State, which was able to avenge a five-set loss earlier this season to the Hornets in Sacramento, improved to 17-11 overall and 6-6 in the Big Sky. The Wildcats won their third straight match and improved to 7-3 at home.
Weber State finished the match hitting .312 (62-19-138), marking the 10th time a Sacramento State opponent has hit better than .300 in a match this season. Joining Bair with double-figures kills for Weber State were Leah Burmeister (14 kills, 14 digs, .310 hit%), Brittney Bisaillon (12 kills, 5 blocks, .478 hit%) and Jenna Leggat (12 kills, .409 hit%). No other Wildcat had more than five kills.
Sacramento State, which hit below .200 for the fifth consecutive match, had just one player finish with more than eight kills as senior Desiree Hoyum had 13. Despite Melissa Melcher’s one kills and .333 hitting percentage, only one Hornet hit better than .200, and that was freshman Kelsey Elston, who finished with six kills, a team-best five blocks and a .294 hitting percentage. Senior libero Katie Van Der Wende (15) was the only Sacramento State player with double figures in digs, as Melcher finished with nine. Sophomore Maddison Thivierge added eight kills and two blocks.
The Hornets are at the midway point of a four-match road trip that will take the team to the state of Montana next week where they will face Montana State (Friday, Nov. 14) and Montana (Saturday, Nov. 15). The Hornets have struggled badly on the road this season as the team fell to 1-11 with tonight’s loss.