Sac State downs Southern Utah in five

Elliot Jones

Sacramento State volleyball won its first Big Sky Conference match against Southern Utah University 3-2 on Thursday. Sac State improved to 14-2 and 1-0 in conference play.

They remain in first place in the Big Sky.

This is the first time this season the Hornets would go into a fifth set after winning the first two sets.

“They play hard, it’s a good team, they play good defense,” said Sac State coach Ruben Volta about Southern Utah. “They’ve got nice size and they do good things.”

The Hornets ran away with the first set winning 25-14. Sac State maintained the lead through the entirety of the set. Lauren Kissell had a great first set with seven kills and a hitting percentage of .875. The team itself was very effective offensively with a hitting percentage of .406.

The second set would see the Hornets jump to a 10-5 lead, but Southern Utah would go on a 7-1 run to take the lead 11-12. Sac State eventually regained the lead 18-17 late in the match and closed the door on the Southern Utah comeback, winning 25-18.

With Sac State eyeing the sweep, Southern Utah responded with two set wins of their own. The third set was all Southern Utah with them taking a 20-12 lead deep into the set. Sac State eventually lost 25-19.

The fourth set was a landslide victory for Southern Utah after they took a 5-1 lead and never looked back. At its worse the Hornets were down 21-10. Sac State lost the set 25-17.

“We just slowed down,” Lauren Kissell said when asked about the teams performance in the third and fourth sets. “After the first couple matches and how bad we beat them we thought it was going to come easy and we need to stay focused and realize teams in this conference have the ability to come back and push.”

Sac State took back the momentum in the fifth set and put it away 15-10. Southern Utah head coach Craig Choate was given a yellow card for arguing with the referee over a ball he thought hit the ground.

“It feels really good,” said team setter Kennedy Kurtz. “Last year we lost to Southern Utah in five twice so this was a really good match for us. Our first game five and first conference win, it’s nice to get a little revenge.”

Kurtz led the team in hitting percentage at .750 and also led in assists with 51.

Kissell finished the night leading the team in kills with 25 and a hitting percentage of .408.

The team as a whole had a hitting percentage of .225 and had 10 blocks on defense. Southern Utah had a hitting percentage of .208 and eight blocks. These two teams will not see each other again until the conclusion of the regular season Nov. 18.

The Hornets will face second-place Northern Arizona University at home on Saturday at 1 p.m.