Volleyball defeats Bakersfield 3-1, advancing to the tournament title match

Lance Hayes

Sacramento State defeated CSU Bakersfield 3-1 Saturday morning in the second round of the Cal Poly ShareSLO Tournament (18-25, 25-17, 25-10, 25-19).

The young Hornet squad put momentum back on their side, dropping only one set in today’s match after entering the tournament on a four-game losing streak.

Sac State had an increase in blocking and serving with the team tallying 16 blocks against San Jose State and 13 blocks against Bakersfield. This is a significant jump from averaging eight blocks in the past eight matches.

The team contributed 11 aces Friday and 10 aces Saturday morning. Freshman Kennedy Kurtz, junior Sloan Lovett and Lexie Skalbeck combined for three each against Bakersfield. Skalbeck also had a team-high 18 digs.

Sac State advanced its leads as much as seven in the first set, nine in the second set and five in the fourth set. Bakersfield was not able to mount an opposing threat after the women pulled away with the lead.

Sophomore Madeline Cannon finished with a season-high 14 kills and five blocks, junior captain Sloan Lovett with a season-high 15 kills and career high five blocks, and junior Lauren Aikels with a career high 13 kills and three digs.

Sac State’s outside hitter Morgan Stanley is still sidelined with an injury. Junior Aikels has filled in Stanley’s position in the rotation. Aikels had 13 kills with a .222 hitting percentage.

Setter Kurtz racked up 47 assists, three aces and eight digs, sophomore Courtney Dietrich had six kills, with a .333 hitting percentage and eight blocks.

The Hornets will be in competition tonight against host Cal Poly at 7 p.m. If the team wins this match they will be crowned the tournament champions.