VOLLEYBALL FALLS AT HOME TO PORTLAND STATE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Whitney Phillips posted a match-high 24 kills to lead Portland State to a 3-1 victory (25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 25-20) over Sacramento State in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Friday evening at Colberg Court.
The Hornets had won 15 straight matches against Portland State in Sacramento dating back to 1990 prior to tonight’s loss. That included a 13-0 mark at home against PSU in Big Sky play.
The Vikings, who clinched the Big Sky’s regular season title last week, conclude the regular season with a 20-7 overall record and a 14-2 mark in the conference. Portland State will be the Big Sky Tournament’s No. 1 seed when the postseason event begins next week.
With the loss, Sacramento State dropped to 16-15 and 6-9 in the Big Sky. The Hornets, who will not be making an appearance at the Big Sky Tournament for the first time since joining league in 1996, conclude their season tomorrow night when they host Eastern Washington at 7 p.m. The Hornets have dropped six of their last nine matches heading into tomorrow night’s season finale.
Phillips, who posted a career-high 70 swings, provided 24 of the Vikings’ 59 kills. She combined for 14 of those kills during the final two sets after the Hornets had tied the match at 1-1.
Sacramento State found itself behind early in the first, third and fourth sets, and lost each of those frames. In fact, PSU jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the first set, a 12-1 advantage in the third and an 11-5 lead in the fourth. Sacramento State cut into the deficit late in all three sets, but it was not enough.
The Hornets were limited to a .160 hitting percentage as senior Desiree Hoyum (team-best 19 kills, .283 hitting percentage) and sophomore Anna Schoener (four kills, .300 hitting percentage) were the only Sacramento State players to hit better than .172. Hoyum also had 13 digs to register her Big Sky-leading 20th double-double of the year.
Junior Maddison Thivierge was the other Hornet to finish in double-figure kills as she had 11 to go along with a pair of solo blocks. Freshman Janelle Currey added eight kills and 12 digs and sophomore Breanne Menees led all players with 25 digs. Sacramento State had 78 digs as a team, but Portland State was better in every other statistical category.
For the Vikings, Lindsey Steele (10 kills, 15 digs) and Erica Jepsen (10 kills, seven blocks) joined Phillips in double figures, while setter Nique Fradella had 41 assists, five aces and 10 digs.
Tomorrow night’s matchup with Eastern Washington will begin at 7 p.m., and Hornet seniors Hoyum, Melissa Melcher and Emily Trudgeon will be honored for their contributions to the program prior to the match. Fans who attend the Causeway Classic football game earlier in the day (2 p.m.) at Hornet Stadium can used their ticket stub to gain free admittance to the volleyball match.