Volleyball dominates CSU Bakersfield 3-1 in home opener

Mike McGough

Sacramento State volleyball (3-1) dominated CSU Bakersfield (0-4) in the Hornets’ home opener Tuesday night, winning 3-1 (22-25, 25-13, 25-8, 25-16).

After losing a closely fought first set, the Hornets gathered their nerves and took control. Sac State closed out the game outscoring the Roadrunners 90-48 after trailing 14-7 early in the first.

“It was just an adjustment of our mind, really, and our effort,” said Sac State coach Ruben Volta. “And we just started off slow and a little bit lethargic, and I don’t know why, but we did. So we just talked about our effort and to play harder, and we did.”

Volta said he was pleased with the confidence and effort of his team as they rallied back to win the final three sets, including a dominant 25-8 victory in the third.

Senior outside hitter Lauren Kissell led the Hornets with 20 kills on 38 total attacks, hitting .474 on the night.

Kissell said the Hornets worked to calm their nerves in the first set.

“We were literally shaking,” Kissell said. “We were frantic. It was just, we weren’t all there, and we went back in the locker room and we figured our stuff out. We talked about it, we were like ‘We need to come out stronger,’ and we did.”

Sac State out-hit Bakersfield by a .339-to-.146 margin. The Hornets had 59 digs overall to Bakersfield’s 42.

Sophomore Shannon Boyle had an impressive showing, with 19 total attacks and eight kills. Boyle also tallied 13 digs, second only to teammate Lexie Skalbeck’s 14.

“We just had a really slow start, and once we realized it was our errors and not the other team, and got excited, that helped us out a lot,” Boyle said.

Kissell said the Hornets improved in every facet of the game after struggling early.

“Our passing finally came together, our setting came together, our hitting came together, “ Kissell said. “It’s not an individual sport, so every part has to be good, and at that point [the third set], every part had come together and we were doing really well.”

Morgan Stanley had four aces on serve for the Hornets, who had nine aces against five errors as a team. Sloan Lovett had 11 kills on 32 total attacks, with two service errors and two digs.

Kennedy Kurtz had 51 of the Hornets’ 55 assists and eight digs.

Madeline Cannon had the second-most kills on either side with 12 kills on 20 total attacks. She hit .500 for the game and led both sides with six assisted blocks.

For the Roadrunners, Morginne Demarco led with 13 digs. Edithza Urias had 11 kills on 32 attacks, with a team-high .250 hitting percentage.

Last season, the Hornets lost their first three home games in September during the Sacramento State Invitational.

“Obviously it feels good to win at home,” Volta said. “A pretty energetic crowd tonight too, I thought. A lot of student-athletes here supporting us, which is really nice.”

Volta said he feels he has a more mature team this year than last, with younger players knowing what to expect.

The Hornets will take on Norfolk State on Friday afternoon at the Hampton Inn and Suites Holly Springs Invitational in North Carolina.