The Sacramento State volleyball team defeated Northern Arizona University 3-1 (25-17, 25-14, 23-25, 30-28) at home on Saturday.
The Hornets improved to 15-2 with the win and 2-0 in conference play. They kept their first place position against second-place Northern Arizona.
The Hornets had a great start, winning the first set 25-17, and they maintained the lead the entire set. Outside hitter Morgan Stanley led the team in kills with four that set, she ended the night with 14.
“I think it’s a great team win for us,” Stanley said. “They were ranked higher than us so I think we came in ready to play today and ready to win, and what we’ve been practicing on, everything really executed in that game.”
The second set was the most lopsided set of the afternoon with the Hornets winning 25-14. The team had a .354 hitting percentage. Middle blocker Madeline Cannon was a force in front of the net with nine kills after two sets. She ended her night with a hitting percentage of .333 and 12 kills.
Northern Arizona won the third set 25-23. The Lumberjacks took an early lead and kept the pressure on Sac State as they played from behind almost the entire set. Sac State fought back to tie the match at 23 after being down 10-15. Northern Arizona would take the next two points, forcing a fourth set.
The final set of the match was as competitive a set the Hornets have seen all season. Northern Arizona took a 5-1 lead at the very start and they kept the lead until Sac State tied it 23-23. Kissell delivered a devastating spike that gave the Hornets the lead 24-23, but Northern Arizona was not done. There were eight tie scores in the set as neither team was able to get the final point until reaching a final score of 30-28 Hornets.
“Everybody was playing so well again those first couple games and when we play like that as a team we’re really hard to beat, we’re able to pull away from teams,” said head coach Ruben Volta. “I credit NAU. They played very well after the game break.”
Four different players had over 10 kills, Lauren Kissell (18 kills), Sloan Lovett (16 kills), Stanley (14 kills) Cannon (12 kills).
Sac State will be on the road for the next four matches. They will face Idaho State University at 6 p.m Thursday, Oct. 1st.
“We know how to fight toward the ends of the game and we know how to fight when we need to fight,” said outside hitter Lovett. “Compared to last year we kind of let down a little and let the other teams put the pressure on us and this year we’re really able to put the pressure on the other team.”