Hornets place second in home tournament

Elliot Jones

Sacramento State Volleyball team lost to Santa Clara University 3-1 (21-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-22) in the closing match of the Sacramento State Invitational on Saturday night. The Hornets took second in the tournament with Santa Clara taking first, Kent State taking third and the University of Nevada, Reno taking fourth.

The Hornets had a 12 game-winning streak snapped with the defeat and a historic start to a season comes to an end. Only the 1995 team has had a better start to the year in school history.

“I think we played really well actually,” said coach Ruben Volta. “We played a good opponent, it forces you to play at a high level, just a little bit of execution here and there, we let them get to the lead in that last game but I was really happy with how we competed and how we fought back.”

During the first set, Santa Clara set the tempo, winning 25-21. Santa Clara never gave up lead in the first match with a hitting percentage of .444. The Hornets played a quality set with a hitting percentage of .341 as a team during the first set.

The second set was another dominating effort by Santa Clara with them winning 25-23. Santa Clara didn’t surrender the lead for the second straight set.

The Hornets pushed back in the third set, winning 25-18. The lead changed three times, but Sacramento put it away to avoid the sweep.

During the fourth set Santa Clara got back to the form they were in the first two matches. They jumped out to a 5-0 lead and looked to run away with it but the Hornets came all the way back to lead 21-20. Despite their best efforts, Santa Clara took the set to win the match and tournament.

“I think a little more energy through us could have happened more,” said team captain Morgan Stanley. “Talking a lot more communication wise so we could put the pressure on them.”

Lauren Kissell led the team in kills with 21 and she also led in hitting percentage at .439. Sloan Lovett had 11 kills and Shannon Boyle had 10.

The team was out blocked by Santa Clara with 14 blocks to the Hornets six.

The Hornets are in first place in the Big Sky Conference with a record of 13-2 and face Southern Utah University on Thursday in their first conference match.

“We’re all excited for it, [we have] a lot of preparing to do,” said Kissell of their upcoming match.

The match against Southern Utah will take place at home at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Southern Utah is currently in third place in the conference with a 9-4 record on the season. They are coming off of a win against Portland State University, but lost their two prior matches this weekend to Fresno State and UC Davis, both teams Sac State have beaten earlier this season.