Volleyball advances to semifinals in conference tournament


Sacramento State outside hitter Lauren Kissell goes up for the ball against Northern Colorado at Rolle Activity Cente on Nov. 19, 2015. Kissell led the team with 15 kills in the match.

Elliot Jones

Sacramento State beat Northern Colorado 3-1 to advance into the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Volleyball Championship Tournament on Thursday. The Hornets will face the tournament host, Northern Arizona in a semifinal matchup at 6 p.m. on Friday.

The win kept what has been a storybook turnaround season for the Hornets alive.

“I was really happy [with the win],” said coach Ruben Volta. “Northern Colorado played really well and put a lot of pressure on us and I was really happy with how we responded.”

Volta has been the head coach for the Hornets for eight seasons and was awarded coach of the year honors by the Big Sky this week.

Both senior outside hitters for the Hornets, Sloan Lovett and Lauren Kissell, had strong nights offensively.

Kissell, who was recently named Big Sky first team all-conference, led the team with 15 kills. Kissell ended the match with a hitting percentage of .250 and three blocks.

Lovett continued her offensive success late in the season with 11 kills on Thursday. Lovett had a busy match with 49 total attacks and a hitting percentage of .102. Lovett’s outstanding season offensively was recognized by the Big Sky as she was named second team all-conference.

Sac State middle blocker Madeline Cannon was on her game against the Bears leading the team in hitting percentage at .467 and a service ace.

“[Cannon] was really special,” said Volta. “Not just offensively but also blocking and serving. She really played well tonight.”

The first set of the match was very close with Sac State beating the Bears 25-23. Sac State had a hitting percentage of .118 while Northern Colorado only hit .029 in the set.

Northern Colorado pushed back in the second set winning 25-21. Northern Colorado hit .394 in that set as the team evened the match 1-1.

Sac State responded in the third set with its most dominant set of the match. The Hornets jumped out and took a 12-3 to the set. Sac State had the lead the entire set and never gave back as they blew past the Bears winning 25-15.

The Hornets kept the momentum from the third set and won 25-21. Sac State ended the match with a team hitting percentage of .183 along with 47 kills and 21 errors. Northern Colorado’s season ended with the loss. They hit .135 as a team with 48 kills and 29 errors