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VOLLEYBALL FALLS OUT OF FIRST PLACE WITH LOSS AT MONTANA
Junior Jessie Genger had five kills, two aces and a season-best 10 digs in tonight's loss at Montana
MISSOULA, Mont. -- Montana’s Amy Roberts (18) and Kayla Reno (15) combined for 33 kills to help lead the Grizzlies to a 3-1 victory (25-23, 18-25, 25-21, 25-15) over Sacramento State in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Friday evening at the West Auxiliary Gym.
The Hornets, who had been the hottest team in the league, dropped to 11-10 overall and 5-2 in the Big Sky. Sacramento State had a number of winning streaks snapped tonight, including six straight wins, five straight conference victories and three consecutive road wins. In addition, the Hornets continued to struggle in Missoula where the team has now lost four straight years on Montana’s home floor.
The Grizzlies, who are now 9-25 all-time against Sacramento State, improved to 6-10 overall and 3-5 in the conference. Montana has now won three of its last four matches, and tonight marked the team’s first win at home this year (1-5).
Sacramento State, which fell out of first place in the conference standings and now sit in second, return to action tomorrow night when the team travels to Bozeman to take on Montana State at 6 p.m. PDT.
A big turning point in the match came late in the first set when it appeared the Hornets were in command with an 18-14 lead after a Kelsey Elston kill. However, Montana immediately responded with a 6-0 run to take a 20-18 lead and never trailed the remainder of the set.
Sacramento State committed 29 attack errors in tonight’s match, tied for the second highest outcome all season. The Hornets hit .082, marking just the third time this year they hit below .100 in a match. Montana didn’t hit much better (.135), but Sacramento State just couldn’t get out of its offensive rut all evening. In fact, the Hornets failed to hit anything better than .093 in any of the four sets and Montana accumulated 17.0 team blocks, the second highest total by an opponent this year.
Prior to tonight, the Hornets had been 10-0 when limiting the opposition to a hitting percentage below .165, but that steak came to a close. Only one Sacramento State player with more than one kill finished with a hitting percentage above .125, and that was Jessie Genger who had five kills and a .211 mark.
Sacramento State was led by Janelle Currey’s 13 kills, 14 digs and season-high six blocks (three of which were solos). She was the only Hornet with more than eight kills. Four Hornets compiled double figures in digs, including Currey, Breanne Menees (match-best 24), Genger (season-high 10) and Sydney Kordic (10). Sacramento State finished with 15.0 team blocks, including five from Olivia Moss, four from Eryn Kirby and three from Elston. Prior to tonight, Elston had hit better than .410 against five straight conference opponents until finishing with six kills and a .091 hitting percentage.
For Montana, Roberts’ 18 kills came with a team-best 23 digs. Reno had 15 kills and 15 digs, and Brooke Bray finished with eight kills, a .583 hitting percentage and seen blocks. Brittany Quick led all players with nine blocks while Kelsey Schile added six blocks.
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