VOLLEYBALL SWEEPS MONTANA, CONTINUES DOMINANCE ON HOME FLOOR
Eryn Kirby had 15 kills, five digs, three aces and hit .419 to help the Hornets to a 3-0 victory
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Four Hornet starters hit better than .365 and junior Eryn Kirby led all players with 15 kills as Sacramento State cruised to a three-set sweep of Montana (25-17, 25-15, 25-21) in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Friday evening at Colberg Court.
With just three matches to play in the regular season, tonight’s win was big for Sacramento State (14-15, 7-6) as the team moved into sole possession of fourth place in the Big Sky standings. The top four teams in the nine-member conference reach the league’s postseason event (Nov. 26-27), and Sacramento State is one of four squads battling for the last two spots. Idaho State is now third with an 8-6 record, followed by the Hornets (7-6), Montana (7-7) and Eastern Washington (6-8).
Despite losing to Montana earlier this year in Missoula, Sacramento State was able to secure the tiebreaker should the two teams finished tied in the league standings. In addition, the team is now 9-3 on its home floor this season, including a 6-1 mark against league competition.
The Grizzlies dropped to 11-14 overall with the loss. The Hornets are now 25-8 all-time against Montana, and 12-3 when playing in Sacramento.
Sacramento State will play its final home match of the season tomorrow night against Montana State at 7 p.m. The team concludes the regular season next week on the road at Portland State and Eastern Washington.
The Hornets hit a season-high .388, with 46 kills and just six errors in 103 attacks. Outside hitters Kirby (.419) and Janelle Currey (12 kills, seven blocks, .367), rightside hitter Kayla Beal (eight kills, four blocks, .429) and middle hitter Kelsey Elston (seven kills, six blocks, .375) all hit better than .365. Sacramento State hit .421, .455 and .326, respectively, during the three sets.
Montana, which came in as the league’s leading blocking team, had just 3.0 team blocks compared to 11.0 for Sacramento State. Four different Hornets had at least four blocks, including four from middle hitter Olivia Moss. In addition, the Grizzlies were limited to a .175 hitting percentage.
“This was an important match for both teams, and I was very happy with our effort tonight,” Sacramento State head coach Ruben Volta said. “We blocked, attacked, served and passed well while playing good defense. This was one of our best attacking matches of the season, and we did it against a very good blocking team.”
Hornet libero Breanne Menees led all players with 16 digs while Sydney Kordic and Currey both added eight. Sacramento State also finished with nine aces, including three each from Kirby and Kordic, and two from Menees.
Montana’s Kayla Reno (11) was the only Grizzly with more than six kills. Kortney Brown had a team-high 11 digs.