Volleyball finishes regular season with sweep over SUU


Elliot Jones

The Sacramento State volleyball team swept Southern Utah to win its final match of the regular season on Saturday.

The Hornets finished the season in third place with a record of 25-6 overall and 12-4 in the Big Sky Conference.

Sac State will move on to the Big Sky Tournament as the No. 4 seed and will play the No. 5 seed Northern Colorado. The last time the Hornets faced Northern Colorado, they won at home 3-1 on Oct. 15. The tournament will begin on Friday and will be hosted by Northern Arizona.

The 25 wins by Sac State is the most wins the by the team since 2007, which is also the last time the Hornets won the Big Sky Tournament.

“They’re just a really competitive group,” said Sac State coach Ruben Volta. “They care about how they play and they play hard all the time.”

The Hornets dominated the first set against Southern Utah, taking a 9-0 lead against the Thunderbirds to start the match. Outside hitter Sloan Lovett had a great first set with five kills. The Hornets won the set 25-10 with a hitting percentage of .393 and only two errors. The Thunderbirds were held to a hitting percentage of -.065 and had seven errors.

Southern Utah pushed back in the second set but Sac State would not be denied, winning 25-22. Despite winning the set, the Hornets were not nearly as sharp with a hitting percentage of .209 along with five errors.

The Hornets came back in the third and won soundly, beating the Thunderbirds 25-15. The Hornets have swept six of their last nine opponents as they end the regular season with 11 total shutouts.

The Hornets had another great match from outside hitter Lovett, who had a team-leading 17 kills and a season-best hitting percentage of .441. Lovett has had over 10 kills in four straight matches for the Hornets.

“She has been playing really well,” Volta said. “She’s really aggressive attacking and she had another really good match tonight.”

Hornet outside hitter Morgan Stanley had an outstanding night with 12 kills and a team-leading hitting percentage of .579. The .579 hitting percentage is a season best for the junior.

Outside hitter Lauren Kissell had a streak of 19 straight matches with over 10 kills snapped with only four kills in the match against Southern Utah.

With the regular season in the books the Hornets now look to win their first Big Sky Conference Tournament in eight years. They have beaten every team in the Big Sky Conference South Division at least once, including handing Northern Arizona its only conference loss all season.