VOLLEYBALL KNOCKS OFF TULSA, IMPROVES RECORD TO 2-0
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Senior outside hitters Jennifer Ferguson (21 kills, 24 digs) and Missie Stidham (22 kills, 23 digs) each posted double-doubles to lead the Sacramento State volleyball team to a 3-2 victory (30-16, 30-19, 29-31, 21-30, 15-2) over Tulsa in the second round of the Mary Jo Wynn Invitational Friday afternoon.
With the victory, Sacramento State improved to 2-0 on the young season as the team swept Delaware State (30-9, 30-19, 30-27) earlier today. The Hornets conclude the five-team, two-day tournament tomorrow with matches against both UMKC (12:30 p.m. PDT) and host Missouri State (5:30 p.m. PDT). Sacramento State will attempt to end Missouri State’s run of eight consecutive Mary Jo Wynn Invitational championships.
A notoriously slow starting team, Sacramento State has won the first two matches of a season for the first time since 1996. In fact, since joining the Div. I ranks in 1991, the Hornets had began a season 2-0 just twice, in both 1995 and 1996.
Tulsa, which went 27-7 last year and won the Conference USA regular season championship with a 13-3 record, dropped to 0-1 at the tournament. The Golden Hurricane return later tonight to face Missouri State.
The Hornets, who won the first two games with ease only to see Tulsa win the next two games, posted their most lopsided fifth game victory in school history. The previous best was 15-6 in game five at Eastern Washington on Nov. 22, 2003.
Ferguson and senior middle hitter Lindsay Haupt were major contributors in the fifth and decisive game. The Hornets jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the fifth, as Haupt had four kills during those first 10 points. Haupt then returned later in the game to serve out three points, increasing Sacramento State’s lead from 11-1 to 14-1. Ferguson served the first 10 points of the game before a Hornet attack error ended the run.
The 21 kills for Ferguson were a career high, surpassing her previous career best of 16, set against Georgetown during her freshman season. Haupt tallied 14 kills, a .300 hitting percentage (14-5-30) and three blocks to round out the three Sacramento State players with double figures in kills. Senior middle hitter Michelle Franz, who ranked third in the nation in blocks per game last season, finished the match with nine kills and match highs in both blocks (nine) and hitting percentage (.400, 9-1-20).
Sacramento State dominated the match in nearly every statistical category, including kills (71-50), hitting percentage (.196-.099), assists (63-45), digs (108-96) and blocks (12.0-7.0). The Hornets’ 108 digs were the most in a match since the team posted 112 on Sept. 13, 2003 against Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Five Hornets had at least nine digs in today’s match, comprised of freshman libero Chelsea Goodsell (25), Ferguson (24), Stidham (23), junior setter Rose Burke (17) and junior Alexandra Vidal (9).
Tulsa was led by Fabiola Nepomuceno’s 15 kills and 14 digs, Emma Ridley’s 14 kills, and Malorey Grove’s match-high 31 digs.
NOTES -- Should the Hornets defeat UMKC tomorrow morning, the team would be 3-0 for just the second time since joining the Div. I ranks in 1991. The 1995 squad opened the year with seven consecutive victories.