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VOLLEYBALL SWEEPS PACIFIC IN LAST NON-CONFERENCE MATCH OF THE REGULAR SEASON
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Senior Desiree Hoyum led all players with 13 kills and 18 digs while hitting .300 to lead Sacramento State to a three-set sweep (25-21, 25-23, 25-21) of Pacific in a non-conference volleyball match Tuesday evening at Colberg Court.
In its final non-conference match of the regular season, Sacramento State improved to 15-11 and dealt Pacific its first three-set loss of the year. The Tigers (15-6) had entered the match with a 15-5 record, and had just one non-conference loss prior to tonight. The Hornets have now won six of the last eight, and 13 of the last 19 matches.
Pacific still owns a 26-6 all-time record against Sacramento State in a series which dates back to 1976, but the Hornets have now won four of the last five meetings between the two schools.
The Hornets will now turn their attention to the final six matches of the Big Sky Conference regular season. Sacramento State is currently in fifth place with a 5-5 record, and sits just a half game back of the fourth spot in the standings. The top four teams in the nine-member league reach the Big Sky Tournament (Nov. 27-28), a place the Hornets have been every year since joining the conference in 1996.
“I was extremely pleased the way we started the match with our defense and serve receive, and the team fed off that throughout the evening,” Sacramento State head coach Ruben Volta said. “Melissa (Melcher) set the ball really well tonight, and ran a crisp offense. We played tough defense, and I was very happy with our effort and determination.”
Despite battling a nagging foot injury that is preventing her from jump serving, Hoyum was one of the best players on the floor, finishing 13 kills and just four errors in 30 attempts. The double-double was her Big Sky-leading 16th of the season and she has now led the team in kills a team-best 14 times.
Sophomore Eryn Kirby (11 kills), freshman Janelle Currey (9 kills, 10 digs) and junior Maddison Thivierge (8 kills, 2 blocks) combined with Hoyum to record 41 of the Hornets’ 49 kills in the match. Thivierge hit .412, and Melcher had three kills, 43 assists, nine digs and a .429 hitting percentage. It was Melcher’s kill that gave the Hornets the 25-23 victory in the second set.
Breanne Menees chipped in 17 digs and Sydney Kordic added 14 digs while Kelsey Elston led all Hornets with four blocks. Five different Hornets had at least nine digs despite the match lasting just three sets.
Sacramento State overcame deficits of 16-12 and 19-16 in the second and third sets, respectively. Melcher served five straight points to stretch a 19-17 deficit to a 22-19 advantage late in the third, and set Kirby for the final kill of a contest which lasted just one hour and 33 minutes.
Sacramento State had more kills (49-35), assists (48-35) and digs (73-57), and limited the Tigers to just a .134 hitting percentage. That included a .050, and .089 hitting percentage in the first and third sets, respectively. The Hornets’ 73 digs were the most by the team in a three-set match this season.
For Pacific, Masha Vaysburg had 10 kills while also hitting .421. She was the only Tiger with more than eight kills, and was one of just two Pacific players to hit better than .128 during the contest.
With the exception of the annual alumni match on Halloween day, the Hornets will take the next nine days off before returning to the court to play Weber State at home on Friday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. That begins a stretch that will see the Hornets play four of their final six matches at home.
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