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SHORT-HANDED VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO PORTLAND STATE IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE
Junior Jessie Genger posted team highs in both kills (11) and hitting percentage (.333)
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Playing without two starters and one of the team’s setters, Sacramento State closed the regular season with a three-set loss to Portland State, 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 26-24), in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Saturday evening at the Stott Center.
The Hornets were playing without starting middle blocker Maddison Thivierge, starting rightside hitter Kayla Beal and setter Anna Schoener as all three rested various injuries while Sacramento State looks to get healthy for next week’s Big Sky Tournament (Nov. 25-26) in Portland.
Sacramento State, which concluded the regular season with a 17-14 overall record and a 10-6 mark in the Big Sky, will face the same Portland State (17-12, 12-4) team next Friday - again at the Stott Center - in the semifinals of the Big Sky Tournament at 7:30 p.m. The Hornets are the No. 3 seed while the Vikings are the No. 2 seed. Portland State is hosting the tournament by virtue of winning last year’s regular season conference title. In the tournament’s other semifinal match on Friday, No. 1 seed Northern Colorado (20-8, 13-3) will take on No. 4 Eastern Washington (13-14, 9-7) at 5:30 p.m.
The winners of the two semifinal matches will play each other for the championship and automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament Saturday at 7 p.m. The top four teams in the nine-member conference qualify for the Big Sky Tournament as the Hornets finished the regular season in third place. For more information on the tournament, click here.
The Hornets, who won either the league’s regular season and/or tournament championships 11 straight years (1997-07), will be making their 13th appearance at the Big Sky Tournament since joining the league in 1996.
In tonight’s match, Portland State held healthy statistical advantages over Sacramento State in kills (50-35), hitting percentage (.226-.177), assists (45-32) and aces (4-1). The Hornets outdug (71-70) and outblocked (8.0-6.0) the Vikings.
Sacramento State had opportunities to win both the second and third sets, but Portland State finished the second on a 3-0 run to win the second frame, 25-22, and used another 3-0 run in the third set to win, 26-24.
The Hornets were led by rightside hitter Jessie Genger’s season-high 11 kills as she also finished with a .333 hitting percentage (11-2-27). Outside hitter Janelle Currey added eight kills and 12 digs, and Eryn Kirby had seven kills, nine digs and three blocks. Middle blockers Olivia Moss and Kelsey Elston, and rightside hitter Emily Kiser each had four blocks. Libero Breanne Menees posted a team-best 26 digs.
For Portland State, Megan Ellis had 14 kills and 13 digs while Aubrey Mitchell added 13 kills and a match-best .417 hitting percentage. Nicole Bateham had a match-high 28 digs.
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