VOLLEYBALL LOSES AGAIN IN FIVE GAMES, THIS TIME AT OLE MISS
OXFORD, Miss. - Katie Kramer had five of her match-high 22 kills in the fifth and final game to lead Ole Miss to a 3-2 (30-19, 23-30, 21-30, 30-25, 15-10) victory over Sacramento State in a non-conference volleyball match Tuesday evening at the Gillom Sports Complex.
The loss marked the second straight heartbreaker for Sacramento State as the team lost at Missouri State on Saturday by a 3-2 score. The Hornets squandered a 2-1 games lead in tonight’s match and a 2-0 lead on Saturday against Missouri State. Victories over both teams could have catapulted Sacramento State into top 25 consideration as both Missouri State and Ole Miss reached the NCAA Tournament last season, with Missouri State advancing to the second round.
The loss dropped the Hornets to 3-2 after they opened the season by winning their first three matches. Sacramento State is in the middle of a brutal road trip that will see the team play eight matches away from home over a nine-day span. The Hornets next travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., where they will take part in the Bama Bash this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 31-Sept. 1.
With the victory, Ole Miss improved to 4-0, including a 3-2 victory over then 20th-ranked Missouri last week.
Sacramento State, which suffered a rash of injuries and illness during preseason camp that has affected the team’s conditioning late in matches, hit .289 and .295 in games 2 and 3, respectively. However, the team hit .170 or below in the other three games tonight, including a .000 (6-6-22) percentage in the fifth and decisive game.
Ole Miss won the first three points of the fifth game, and the Hornets never got anything closer than within two points of the Lady Rebel lead the rest of the way. After Sacramento State pulled to within, 13-10, a Kramer kill and a Hornet attack error ended the match. Kramer’s 22 kills accompanied a .294 hitting percentage (22-7-51). Caitlin Weiss (16 kills) was the only other Ole Miss player with double figures in kills.
Both teams’ statistics were nearly identical except for blocks, where Ole Miss held a 13.0-7.0 advantage. Emily Jones led all players with seven blocks, including two in the fifth game.
Four Sacramento State players had double figures in kills, comprised of seniors Lindsay Haupt (17 kills, team-high four blocks), Michelle Franz (12 kills, match-high .522 hitting percentage, three blocks), Jennifer Ferguson (12 kills, 17 digs) and Missie Stidham (11 kills, 10 digs). The Hornets experimented with using Haupt, who is a middle hitter, on the right side in the first game before switching back to the normal lineup for games 2-5.
Hornet freshman libero Chelsea Goodsell led all players with 24 digs while sophomore Melissa Melcher added 10 to round out the four Hornets with at least 10 digs.
Sacramento State returns to action for the first round of the Bama Bash on Friday with matches against both Illinois State (8 a.m. PDT) and host Alabama (5 p.m. PDT). The team concludes the tournament on Saturday against UAB at 9 a.m. PDT.