VOLLEYBALL DROPS THIRD STRAIGHT, FALLS AT PORTLAND STATE
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Marija Vojnovic had 13 kills, four aces and 14 digs to help Portland State overcome a 1-0 deficit and eventually defeat Sacramento State, 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-19), in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Saturday evening at the Stott Center.
For the second straight night, Sacramento State won the opening stanza, but lost the next three sets. The Hornets, who fell at Eastern Washington in four sets yesterday evening, dropped to 9-9 overall and 1-3 in Big Sky play with the loss.
Different from years past when the top six teams in the Big Sky advanced to the conference tournament, this year will only see four teams reach the postseason event. Sacramento State has now lost three straight matches, with each defeat coming to the Big Sky preseason poll’s top three teams (Northern Colorado, Eastern Washington and Portland State).
Those three teams (Eastern Washington 5-0, Northern Colorado 4-0, Portland State 4-1) appear to be distancing themselves from the rest of the field as Idaho State is currently fourth at 3-3 and the Hornets are now tied for sixth with their 1-3 mark.
With the victory, the Vikings improved to 9-6 overall to go along with their 4-1 league record. The Hornets had won 29 of the last 32 meetings against Portland State (including twice last year) prior to tonight’s loss.
After splitting the first two sets, the Hornets struggled during the later stages of both the third and fourth sets. In the third, Sacramento State held a 20-19 advantage before losing six of the next seven points to let PSU win the frame. In the fourth set, the Hornets led, 17-15, before the Vikings closed the set and match on a 10-2 run.
Vojnovic also hit .324, and was joined by three other PSU starters that hit better than .300. That list included Lana Zielke (8 kills, .333), Christie Hamilton (7 kills, .316) and Nique Fradella (5 kills, .625). Portland State hit .246 as a team, and hit at least .240 in each of the final three sets after hitting just .140 in the first stanza. The Vikings finished with seven more kills than the Hornets (60-53), and 20 of those kills came from Whitney Phillips who hit just .167 in the match.
Sacramento State was led by senior Desiree Hoyum’s match-high 21 kills, and freshman Janelle Currey added 10 kills. The Hornets got good production from their middle hitters (Maddison Thivierge - 8 kills, .471 hitting percentage; Kelsey Elston - seven kills, .333 hitting percentage), but the pair combined to receive just 32 sets during the entire evening. Conversely, outside hitters Hoyum and Currey combined to take 107 swings and hit just .150. The Hornets’ rightside hitter, Anna Schoener, also hit well with six kills and a .300 hitting percentage.
Sacramento State had 74 digs, and five Hornets finished with at least 11 digs. That list was comprised of Breanne Menees (team-high 20), Melissa Melcher (15), Hoyum (14), Currey (11) and Sydney Kordic (11). Hoyum, Melcher and Elston each finished with two aces to lead the team. Elston also led the squad with five blocks.
Sacramento State continues its season-long five-match road trip next week with two more Big Sky matches at Idaho State (Friday, Oct. 9) and Weber State (Saturday, Oct. 10).