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VOLLEYBALL COMPLETES BIG WEEK WITH 3-1 VICTORY OVER WEBER STATE
OGDEN, Utah -- Senior Desiree Hoyum had a match-best 22 kills, junior Maddison Thivierge added 14 kills and a .500 hitting percentage and senior Melissa Melcher tallied 58 assists to lead Sacramento State to a 3-1 victory (30-28, 23-25, 25-21, 25-20) over Weber State in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Saturday evening.
Coupled with yesterday’s win at Idaho State, Sacramento State (11-9, 3-3) won consecutive road matches on back-to-back nights. After beginning the conference season with a 1-3 record, the Hornets entered arguably their most important week of the season and came through in a big way. The team evened its league record and moved into fifth place in the nine-team league. Northern Colorado, Eastern Washington and Portland State are all tied for first place with 5-1 records, followed by Montana (4-3) and Sacramento State (3-3) to round out the top five.
Different from years past, only four teams will advance to the Big Sky Tournament this season, and Sacramento State needed a good week to stay within striking distance of that fourth spot. The Hornets have reached the Big Sky’s postseason event every year since joining the league in 1996.
With the loss, Weber State, which had won two of four entering the match, dropped to 3-14 overall and 2-5 in the conference. The Wildcats dealt Portland State its only conference loss of the season last week. Sacramento State improved to 23-7 all-time against Weber State, including a 9-4 mark in Ogden.
The Wildcats outhit (.214-.207) and outblocked (13.0-8.0) the Hornets, but Sacramento State tallied 15 more kills (15) and 34 more swings (174-140) during the match. The Hornets also had seven aces, including three from Melcher and two from libero Breanne Menees.
Sacramento State saved two set points during the first frame to eventually win the pivotal opening set, 30-28, after a kill from Melcher and a combo block from Thivierge and Melcher broke a 28-28 tie. After Weber State bounced back to win the second set, 25-23, the Hornets led nearly the entire way in the third and fourth sets to claim their 11th victory of the season. The 11 wins are already one more than Sacramento State won all of last season.
Hoyum completed a monster week with 22 kills and 13 digs. The 22 kills were six more than any other player on the floor. Hoyum made a strong push for Big Sky Player of the Week after combining to finish the week with averages of 5.71 kills and 4.57 digs per set.
Thivierge’s .500 hitting percentage was a match high (among players with more than two kills) as her 14 kills accompanied just three errors in 22 attacks. She also led the Hornets with four blocks. Sacramento State’s middle hitter tandem of Kelsey Elston (nine kills, .350 hitting percentage, three blocks) and Thivierge combined for 23 kills, seven blocks and a .429 hitting percentage.
Melcher’s 58 assists were three shy of her career high, and she also added three aces, five digs and three blocks. Freshman Janelle Currey finished with 12 kills and Menees had a match-high 16 digs. Sophomore Cayti Crowton entered the match in the fourth set, marking the first time she has played since Aug. 29 because of an ankle injury.
Chelsea Bair led Weber State in both kills (16) and digs (14) while Emily Jones led all players with eight blocks.
Sacramento State concludes its season-long five-match road trip on Tuesday, Oct. 13, when the team travels to non-conference rival San Jose State for a 7 p.m. match. The Hornets then jump back into Big Sky play and return home to face Montana State (Oct. 16) and Montana (Oct. 17). The matchup against Montana could shake up to be a very big matchup for both teams.
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