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VOLLEYBALLâ€™S WINNING STREAK SNAPPED IN LOSS TO NORTHERN COLORADO
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Kenzie Shreeve had a match-high 12 kills and Northern Colorado hit .308 as a team on the way to a three-set sweep (25-16, 25-17, 27-25) of Sacramento State in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Friday evening at Colberg Court.
The Hornets, who were playing for the third time in four days, dropped to 9-7 overall and 1-1 in the Big Sky with the loss. The team had their four-match winning streak snapped and had won five straight at home prior to the defeat.
Northern Colorado (9-6, 3-0) remained undefeated in Big Sky play, and the Bears have now won five straight over the Hornets dating back to 2007. The five-match winning streak is the longest stretch of wins over Sacramento State by any Big Sky opponent since the Hornets joined the league in 1996. Tonight also marked just the second time the Hornets have been swept at home in a Big Sky match, and first since Sept. 26, 1996, when the Hornets fell at home to Eastern Washington.
Sacramento State struggled badly with its service receive all night long, and the team’s defense, usually a strength, was subpar as well. The Hornets, who combined for 24 service aces over the last two matches and have been serving teams tough all year, had just two aces compared to nine service errors.
Northern Colorado controlled the match in nearly every statistical category, including kills (44-35), hitting percentage (.308-.179), assists (42-32) and digs (59-44). That included just six digs during the entire second set for the Hornets.
“I am disappointed with our effort,” Sacramento State head coach Ruben Volta said. “I’m not sure of the reason, but we weren’t ready to play when the match started. We played from behind all night and couldn’t dig ourselves out of that hole.”
After Northern Colorado won the first two sets easily, Sacramento State battled back from a 16-8 deficit in the third frame. In fact, with the help of a 17-8 run, the Hornets lined themselves up with a set point at 25-24. But Northern Colorado used a combo block from Taylor Smith and Shreeve to tie the score at 25-25. A solo block by Smith followed to give the Bears a 26-25 lead and the match ended on a Marissa Hughes ace.
All six Northern Colorado starters hit at least .250, and four of those players hit better than .330. Shreeve posted a double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs while Smith and Kelley Arnold each had eight kills, and Breanna Vandermost added a match-best 23 digs.
For Sacramento State, senior Desiree Hoyum recorded her team-high tying 10th double-double of the season. Kelsey Elston had six kills and a team-best .500 hitting percentage and Maddison Thivierge added seven kills and a match-high five blocks. Sydney Kordic, who replaced Breanne Menees at libero to begin the third set, led the Hornets with 14 digs.
Tonight’s match is the last in September for the Hornets, a month which saw the team play a school-record 10 home contests. Sacramento State will now embark upon a season-long five-match road trip, beginning next week with contests at Eastern Washington (Friday, Oct. 2) and Portland State (Saturday, Oct. 3). Portland State and Eastern Washington were selected to finish first and second, respectively, in the Big Sky’s preseason poll. The Hornets do not return home again until Oct. 16.
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