VOLLEYBALLâ€™S FOUR-GAME WINNING STREAK SNAPPED IN LOSS AT MONTANA STATE
BOZEMAN, Mont. -- After winning a season-high four consecutive matches, Sacramento State struggled to a season-low .047 hitting percentage as Montana State swept the Hornets, 3-0 (25-10, 25-12, 25-22), in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Friday evening at Shroyer Gym.
The Hornets had been riding high after beating Eastern Washington, Portland State, Idaho State and Weber State in succession over the last two weekends at home. However, Sacramento State had a rough time in nearly every facet of the game tonight and fell into a two-way tie for third place with Montana. And the Hornets will travel to Missoula to face Montana tomorrow night as the winner will take over sole possession of third place. Portland State and Northern Colorado are tied atop the conference at 6-1 after the Vikings beat the Bears in five sets tonight.
Montana State (10-10, 3-5) improved to 4-1 at home, including 2-1 against Big Sky competition. In addition, the Bobcats snapped a string of 13 consecutive losses to the Hornets that dated back to 2004. Sacramento State now holds a 33-6 all-time record against Montana State.
The Hornets could get nothing going all night, failing to hold a lead until a 3-2 advantage early in the third set. Sacramento State posted season lows in hitting percentage, assists (25) and team blocks (3.0). The Hornets had 29 kills with 24 errors in 107 attacks.
Conversely, Montana State hit .298 which tied for the highest an opponent has hit this season against the Hornets. In addition, the Bobcats became just the third opponent in the last 12 matches to hit better than .200 against the Hornets’ defense.
Sacramento State middle hitter Kelsey Elston (six kills, .364 hitting percentage) and outside hitter Emily Kiser (five kills, .312 hitting percentage) were the only Hornets with more than one kill to hit better .080 in the match. Starting outside hitters Janelle Currey and Eryn Kirby both hit for a negative percentage, leaving the Hornets’ offensive attack to sputter without their top two point earners. Junior Breanne Menees led all players with 16 digs, but Sacramento State’s 48 digs were the fourth lowest total of the season.
Three of Montana State’s starters hit at least .400, including Taylar Barnay who led all players with 10 kills, six blocks and a .476 hitting percentage. Chelsea Oemcke added six kills, a .400 hitting percentage and five blocks, and Rachelle Allen tallied nine kills and nine digs.
Sacramento State’s match tomorrow night at Montana will begin at 6 p.m. PDT as the Hornets will look to snap a three-match losing streak against the Grizzlies that dates back to 2008.