VOLLEYBALL OPENS BAMA BASH WITH 3-1 VICTORY OVER ILLINOIS STATE
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Senior Missie Stidham tallied a season-high 26 kills and 24 digs to lead Sacramento State to a 3-1 (30-21, 27-30, 30-21, 30-19) victory over Illinois State in the first round of the Bama Bash Volleyball Tournament Friday morning at the CAVE.
Stidham’s 26 kills came with just six errors in 52 total attacks as the transfer from Saint Mary’s hit a season-best .385. It marked her fifth consecutive match with at least 11 kills after posting nine in the Hornets’ season-opening win over Delaware State.
With the victory, Sacramento State jumps back into the win column after suffering a pair of 3-2 losses at Missouri State and Ole Miss. The Hornets improved to 4-2 overall and 1-0 at the tournament. Sacramento State plays later tonight in the second round of the tournament against host Alabama at 5 p.m. PDT. The Hornets wrap up tourney play tomorrow morning against UAB at 9 a.m. PDT.
Illinois State dropped to 3-2 with the loss and saw its three-match winning streak snapped.
Stidham’s 26 kills were seven more than any other player in the match as she tallied eight kills in the first game, eight more in the second, seven in third, and three in the fourth. Joining Stidham with double-figure kills for the Hornets were seniors Jennifer Ferguson (19 kills, 23 digs) and Lindsay Haupt (14 kills). Haupt also hit a match-best .429 (14-2-28) and added two aces. Senior middle hitter Michelle Franz tacked on eight kills.
Sacramento State’s defense posted 94 digs (23.5 per game) while limiting Illinois State to a .157 hitting percentage. The Hornets have now held every opponent they have faced this year to a hitting percentage below .205. Illinois State’s percentage got progressively worse each game during the match from .263, .245, .172 and -.075 from games 1-4, respectively.
Hornet freshman Chelsea Goodsell had 18 digs and sophomore Melissa Melcher added 10 digs.
Illinois State was led by MC Richmond’s 14 kills and 16 digs, while Kasey Mollerus added a match-high tying 24 digs.