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VOLLEYBALL RETURNS HOME AND KNOCKS OFF EASTERN WASHINGTON IN FOUR SETS
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Playing at home for the first time in 24 days, Sacramento State received a match-high 18 kills from Janelle Currey and defeated Eastern Washington, 3-1 (25-14, 25-27, 25-17, 25-22) in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Friday evening at Colberg Court.
The Hornets had gone nine straight matches without playing at home, with the team’s last contest inside the friendly confines coming against San Jose State on Sept. 7. Sacramento State has now won four straight at home, and improved to 4-2 at Colberg Court.
In addition, the victory allowed the Hornets to pick up their first conference win of the season and improve to 8-10 overall and 1-2 in the Big Sky. Eastern Washington, which dropped to 3-11 overall and 2-3 in the league, also fell to 12-27 all-time against the Hornets.
Sacramento State used a balanced defensive effort that included 84 digs and 10.0 team blocks. The Hornets averaged a robust 21.0 digs per set, led by junior Breanne Menees’ match-best 22 digs. Despite the match lasting just four sets, five different Hornets tallied double figures in digs comprised of Menees, Currey (14), Sydney Kordic (13), Eryn Kirby (12) and setter Katie Aprile (10).
In addition, the Hornets served tough all night, finishing with six aces and constantly keeping Eastern Washington from running a crisp offense with tricky serves. The Eagles finished with a .108 hitting percentage (41-24-157) which was the third lowest tally by a Sacramento State opponent this season.
“Our conference has been very competitive over the last few years, and winning at home has become very important,” Sacramento State head coach Ruben Volta said. “Tonight we responded, and it was nice to win in our gym after being on the road for so long. We served tough, played good defense and I felt like our attacking fed off the defense and picked up as the match went on.”
Sacramento State finished with 15 more kills than Eastern Washington (56-41) and 17 more digs (84-67). The double-double for Currey (18 kills, 14 digs) was her conference-leading 11th of the year. Kirby (17 kills, 12 digs) picked up her fifth double-double, and Menees continued an impressive streak that has seen the libero record at least 12 digs in every match thus far.
Junior Kelsey Elston finished with six kills, a .333 hitting percentage and six blocks (including three solos). Freshman Kayla Beal added 11 kills and the Hornets improved to 4-1 this season when she finishes with double figures in kills. Currey and Beal also added three blocks apiece. Kordic led all players with three aces.
For Eastern Washington, Chenoa Coviare posted team highs in kills (15), hitting percentage (.387) and blocks (11). She was the only Eagle with more than six kills.
Sacramento State returns to action tomorrow night when the team hosts Portland State at 7 p.m. Fans that attend the Hornets’ home football game tomorrow at 1 p.m. can use their ticket stubs from that game to gain free admission into the volleyball match.
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