STIDHAMâ€™S 23 KILLS LEADS VOLLEYBALL TO SWEEP OF MONTANA STATE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Senior Missie Stidham led all players with 23 kills - 15 more than any Montana State player - to lead the Hornets to a 30-17, 30-26, 30-12 victory over the Bobcats in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Friday evening at the Hornets Nest.
With the victory, Sacramento State improved to 24-6 overall and 11-2 in the Big Sky. The Hornets remain in second place in the league standings, a half game behind first-place Portland State (12-2). Sacramento State plays again tomorrow night when it hosts Montana at 7 p.m., and Portland State travels to third-place Eastern Washington (11-3).
The winner of this season’s Big Sky’s regular-season championship will gain the right to host next year’s Big Sky Tournament. Should Sacramento State finish tied with either Portland State or Eastern Washington, the Hornets currently own the tiebreaker over both teams by virtue of victories earlier this season. However, that could change as Sacramento State finishes the season next week on the road against both Eastern Washington (Friday, Nov. 16) and Portland State (Saturday, Nov. 17).
The Hornets will host this year’s Big Sky Tournament on Nov. 23-24. The winner of the tournament receives a berth into the NCAA Tournament, a place the Hornets have been five straight times and nine of the last 10 years.
Stidham’s 23 kills accompanied a team-best 14 digs and a .391 hitting percentage (23-5-46). It was the outside hitter’s 11th match with at least 20 kills this season. She was joined in double figures by senior Lindsay Haupt’s 14 kills, .429 hitting percentage and match-best five blocks. Sacramento State hit .272 as a team compared to just .113 for Montana State. The Hornets’ total number of kills (58) nearly doubled the Bobcats’ total (30) as no Montana State player had more than eight kills.
Sacramento State freshman middle hitter Maddison Thivierge finished with season highs in both kills (9) and hitting percentage (.471). Her nine kills came with just one error in 17 attacks, as the hitting percentage was the best for any player in the match.
Joining Stidham with double figures in digs for the Hornets were freshman Chelsea Goodsell (12) and senior Jennifer Ferguson (12).
Montana State was led by Monique Schaal’s eight kills, eight digs and two blocks. Meghan Albiston led all players with 16 digs.
Prior to tomorrow night’s match against Montana, each of the Hornets’ five seniors (Ferguson, Haupt, Stidham, Michelle Franz and Alexandra Vidal) and head coach Debby Colberg will be honored for their contributions to the program. The ceremony begins at 6:55 p.m. Colberg, who announced in August she was retiring at the conclusion of this season, will be coaching her final regular-season home match of her illustrious 32-year career.