VOLLEYBALL BACK ON THE WINNING TRACK, KNOCKS OFF WEBER STATE IN FIVE SETS
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Junior Desiree Hoyum (20), sophomore Maddison Thivierge (15) and freshman Eryn Kirby (13) each posted career highs in kills to lead Sacramento State to a 3-2 victory (23-25, 25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 15-11) over Weber State in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Saturday evening at Colberg Court.
With the victory, Sacramento State (4-14, 2-2) won for the second straight night after knocking off Idaho State yesterday evening. The Hornets have now strung together their first winning streak of the season, and improved to 22-6 all-time against Weber State. In addition, Sacramento State has won 63 of its last 64 Big Sky regular season matches at home. The one loss during that run came to Weber State last season in five sets.
With the loss, Weber State, which was selected to finish third in the Big Sky preseason poll, dropped to 10-8 overall and 1-3 in the conference.
“It hasn’t shown in the win-loss column, but we’ve been improving as the year has progressed,” Sacramento State head coach Ruben Volta said. “Tonight, we really put it all together nicely, and passed, attacked and blocked well.
“I’m really happy with the sustained effort we showed throughout the match, and to dig ourselves out of a 6-2 deficit in the fifth set showed a lot of character.”
In that fifth set, 13 of Sacramento State’s 15 points came via kill, as the team hit .550 with just two errors in 20 attacks. Hoyum had four kills, Kirby posted three kills, and Thivierge, freshman Kelsey Elston and senior Brittany Ferguson each had two kills in the set.
The Hornets found themselves down, 6-2, at the beginning of the fifth, but quickly strung together a 7-1 run to reclaim the lead at 9-7. Hoyum served five of those points, and Kirby and Elston combined on a block to put an exclamation point on the run and give the Hornet the 9-7 lead. Sacramento State never trailed again, as Hoyum’s career-high 20th kill fittingly ended the match.
Tonight’s victory saw the Hornets post season highs in kills (73), assists (70) and digs (85). The team’s 11 blocks were two shy of a season high. Sacramento State’s attack showed big improvement this week as the team hit at least .240 during both victories after going 15 straight matches without hitting better than .239.
Along with her 20 kills, Hoyum also posted a carer-high 16 digs. Thivierge was on fire all night, finishing with a match-high .467 hitting percentage (15-1-30) to go along with a team-high tying five blocks. Kirby also had two aces and a career-best five blocks to go along with her 13 kills. Ferguson rounded out the four Hornets with double-figure kills as the rightside hitter finished with 15 (and five blocks). Elston added seven kills and four blocks.
Three Hornets finished with double figures in digs, comprised of senior Katie Van Der Wende (22), senior Rose Burke (20), and Hoyum (16). Burke’s 20 digs were a season high and the four-year setter has now posted double-figure digs in five of her last six matches.
Weber State was led by Leah Burmeister’s 16 kills and 20 digs.
Sacramento State returns to action next week for three matches, including a non-conference tilt at Nevada on Tuesday, and home matches against Big Sky foes Montana (Friday, Oct. 10, 7 p.m.) and Montana State (Saturday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m.).