VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN THREE TO SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO -- Carly Babin had a match-high 10 kills and three San Francisco starters hit better than .470 on the way to a 3-0 (25-13, 25-12, 25-20) victory over Sacramento State in the first round of the USF Volleyball Invitational Friday evening at War Memorial Gym.
The loss for Sacramento State was its fourth in a row, and dropped the Hornets to 2-6 overall. The team’s 2-6 record is the worst after eight matches in more than 30 years as the 1977 squad was also 2-6. Sacramento State began the year with two new starting outside hitters, two new starting middle hitters, a new starting rightside, and a new libero after losing five starters from last year’s squad. Of the 14 players on Sacramento State’s roster, nine are underclassmen (freshmen or sophomores).
With the victory, San Francisco, which is the host of the two-day tournament, improved to 5-2 overall and 1-0 at the tourney. Sacramento State returns tomorrow for the second and third rounds of tournament play when it takes on Miami (1 p.m.) and Villanova (5 p.m.). The Hornets will look to avenge a loss earlier this season to Miami at the CenturyTel Premier in Texas.
The Dons finished the match with a .353 hitting percentage and had little trouble with a Hornet defense that accumulated just 23 digs over three sets. San Francisco’s Alix Gombos (8 kills, .583), Babin (.500) and Addie Webster (9 kills, .471) each had hitting percentages better than .470. Sarah Mandala’s nine kills rounded out the four Dons with at least eight kills. As a team, USF had 45 kills with just 15 errors in 85 attacks.
Sacramento State finished with a .047 hitting percentage (21-17-85), as senior Brittany Ferguson led the team with eight kills. Senior setter Rose Burke (2 kills, .667), freshman middle hitter Kelsey Elston (2 kills, .500) and Ferguson (.174) were the only Hornets to hit better than .170. Ferguson has now led or shared the team lead in kills in four consecutive matches. Elston, Burke, Ferguson and sophomore Maddison Thivierge each had two blocks for the Hornets.
Sacramento State’s only leads of the match came in the first (1-0) and third sets (1-0, 2-1) as the team never led by anything more than one point.
Tonight’s match was the first of nine straight away from home for the Hornets.