VOLLEYBALL SQUANDERS 2-0 LEAD, FALLS AT HOME TO WEBER STATE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Chelsea Bair (5) and Jenna Leggat (4) combined for nine kills in the decisive fifth set to lead Weber State to a 3-2 upset victory (23-25, 15-25, 25-23, 25-16, 15-10) over Sacramento State in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Friday evening at Colberg Court.
The Wildcats hit .407 as a team in the fifth set, including 12 kills with just one error in 27 attacks. Weber State (6-19, 4-9) never trailed in the set, and the team’s 15-10 margin of victory was also its largest lead of the frame.
The loss was a big blow for Sacramento State (15-12, 5-6) as the Hornets could have moved into fourth place in the conference standings ahead of Montana (6-6). The top four teams in the nine-member Big Sky reach the league’s postseason tournament (Nov. 27-28). With Montana already holding the tiebreaker over Sacramento State and just five matches remaining in the regular season, time is running out on the Hornets if they want to make the Big Sky Tournament for the 14th straight year.
What makes the loss hurt even more is it came against a struggling Weber State team that had lost four straight and entered the match with a 5-19 overall record and 3-9 mark in the Big Sky. The Hornets had only lost to the Wildcats once in 14 meetings in Sacramento prior to tonight’s loss as well.
After winning the first two sets of the contest, Sacramento State was seemingly in control, having just defeated the Wildcats soundly in the second set, 25-15. However, the Wildcats jumped out to leads of 10-2, 14-6 and 19-10 in the third. Trailing, 19-10, the Hornets began chipping away at the lead and found themselves down just 24-23 after going on a 13-5 spurt. Having run off three straight points after trailing 24-20 and with momentum on their side, the Hornets’ Breanne Menees hit what turned out to be a devastating service error into the net giving Weber State the set at 25-23.
That service error loomed large as Weber State controlled the match the rest of the way, winning the fourth set easily and never trailing in the fifth. The Wildcats hit .581 in the fourth and .407 in the fifth as Bair and Leggat caught fire. In fact, Bair had 14 of her match-high 20 kills during the final three sets and Leggat accounted for 14 of her 18 kills during the final three frames.
The Wildcats finished the contest hitting .280 despite being limited to a .119 hitting percentage through the first two frames. Bair hit .292 and added 15 digs to go along with her 20 kills. Leggat (18 kills, 10 digs, four blocks) also had a double-double and Amy Fackrell (11) rounded out the three Weber State players with double figures in kills.
Sacramento State was led by senior Desiree Hoyum’s 20 kills and 15 digs. She hit .269 (20-6-48) and recorded her league-best 17th double-double in the process. Junior Maddison Thivierge finished with 16 kills and a team-best six blocks, freshman Janelle Currey had 11 kills, 12 digs and three blocks, and sophomore Eryn Kirby chipped in eight kills and three blocks. Menees (15) and freshman Sydney Kordic (12) joined Currey and Hoyum as the four Hornets with double figures in digs.
Weber State had just one more kill (65-64) and five more digs (74-69) than the Hornets, and the blocks were tied at 10.0 apiece, but the Wildcats limited Sacramento State to a .217 hitting percentage.
The Hornets return to action tomorrow night when the team hosts Idaho State at 7 p.m. Sacramento State is 25-3 all-time against Bengals and has never lost to Idaho State at home (13-0).