PACIFIC OUTLASTS VOLLEYBALL IN FINAL NON-CONFERENCE MATCH OF THE YEAR
STOCKTON, Calif. -- Pacific’s Svenja Engelhardt posted a match-best 25 kills, 11 more than any other player on the floor, to lead the Tigers to a 3-1 (25-27, 25-21, 25-8, 26-24) victory over Sacramento State in a non-conference volleyball matchup Tuesday evening at the Spanos Center.
Tonight marked the final non-conference contest of the season as Sacramento State has six Big Sky Conference matches remaining on the schedule. The team will try and secure one of four spots in the league’s postseason tournament (Nov. 26-27).
Pacific (16-8) saw Sacramento State save a pair of match points at 24-22 and 24-23 in the fourth set before back-to-back kills from Gabby Cowden gave the Tigers the win in a match which lasted nearly two hours. The Hornets were able to take the first set after hitting .289, but failed to hit anything better than .250 during each of the final three frames. Pacific moved its record against Sacramento State to 27-6 all-time, including 15-1 when playing in Stockton.
Sacramento State dropped to 12-14 overall and 2-7 on the road. The Hornets will remain on the road later this week when the team embarks upon arguably its two most important contests of the season at Weber State (Nov. 5) and Idaho State (Nov. 6). Only a half game separates places three through six in the league standings, and Sacramento State (5-5 in league) is currently tied for fourth with Idaho State and Eastern Washington.
Engelhardt’s 25 kills came with a .391 hitting percentage, 11 digs and three blocks. She led a Tiger offensive attack that finished with a .301 hitting percentage, the first time all season an opponent has hit better than .300 against the Hornets. In fact, four of the Tigers’ six starters hit at least .318, comprised of setter Hannah Clancy (seven kills, 14 digs, .583), Jennifer Sanders (13 kills, .385) and Cowden (nine kills, match-high eight blocks, .318).
Sacramento State was led by outside hitters Eryn Kirby (14 kills, eight digs) and Janelle Currey (12 kills, 10 digs), and rightside hitter Kayla Beal (eight kills, team-best .333 hitting percentage). No other Hornet had more than four kills. Libero Breanne Menees had a team-high 18 digs and Sydney Kordic added seven. Middle hitter Kelsey Elston had three blocks for a Hornet defense that accounted for just 4.0 team blocks, the third lowest mark of the season.
Sacramento State will play a rare midday match at Weber State on Friday as the two teams will square off at 1 p.m. PDT.