VOLLEYBALL GOES TO FIVE SETS AGAIN, BUT LOSES TO FRESNO STATE
FRESNO, Calif. -- Fresno State’s Brianna Clarke (12) and Marissa Brand (8) combined for 20 kills, including five in the fifth set, to lead the host Bulldogs to a 3-2 victory (14-25, 25-13, 11-25, 25-12, 15-13) over Sacramento State in the second round of the Fresno State Volleyball Invitational Saturday afternoon at the Save Mart Center.
In a match where none of the first four sets were close, the fifth set came down to the wire. Sacramento State took a 12-10 lead in the fifth after a kill from Eryn Kirby, but the Bulldogs closed the frame on a 5-1 run. Among those final five points scored by Fresno State were three Hornet attack errors and a Sacramento State service error.
The Hornets (7-7 overall) dropped to 1-1 at the two-day tournament, and will play their final match this evening against seventh-ranked USC at 5 p.m.. Sacramento State has now gone to five sets on six occasions this season, and have posted a 3-3 record in those outcomes. With the victory, Fresno State improved to 4-6 overall and 1-1 at the tournament.
For the sixth straight match, the Hornets failed to produce a hitting percentage better than .145. In fact, Sacramento State hit a season-low .057 with just 34 kills and 26 errors in 141 attacks. Fresno State (.089) didn’t fare much better, but held advantages over the Hornets in kills (48-34), assists (46-33) and digs (71-64).
Sacramento State did have eight aces and 14.0 team blocks. The Hornets hit .000, -.286 and .038 in the second, fourth and fifth sets, respectively (each were losses).
Both freshman Kayla Beal (10) and junior Eryn Kirby (10) both posted double figures in kills, and were the only Sacramento State players with more than five kills. Sophomore outside hitter Janelle Currey, who entered the match with an average of 3.60 kills per set, finished with just five kills (the third lowest single-match output of her career). Sophomore Olivia Moss (2 kills, .667 hitting percentage) was the only Hornet to hit better than .250.
Hornet libero Breanne Menees led all players with 23 digs while Currey finished with 18. Moss added six blocks while Kelsey Elston and setter Anna Schoener both had five blocks.
Beside Clarke’s match-high 12 kills, she also had five blocks and a team-best .385 hitting percentage for Fresno State. Korrin Wild had four aces, including two of the Bulldogs’ three aces in the fifth set.