Sac State volleyball team defeats Montana 3-1

Hornets now tied for second place in Big Sky


Garry Singh

Sac State sophomore middle blocker Sarah Falk prepares to spike the ball Thursday, Oct. 24, against Montana at The Nest. The Hornets won the match 3-1.

Robyn Dobson

The Sacramento State volleyball team defeated the University of Montana 3-1 at The Nest Thursday night. 

The Hornets’ (11-11, 6-3 Big Sky Conference) win over the Grizzlies (2-18, 1-8) pushed Sac State back into a tie for second place in the conference with the University of Idaho. 

After a tough loss to Northern Colorado last week, Sac State came out dominant against Montana. After taking an 8-7 lead in set one, the Hornets never looked back, running away with the opening set.

RELATED: Sac State volleyball team loses to first-place Northern Colorado

“Coming off a loss, it’s really important to come back with a lot of energy and play really hard,” said senior outside hitter Sarah Davis. “I think we passed really well, I think we attacked well. Overall, I think our defense was really good too.”

The Hornets took set one handily, defeating the Grizzlies 25-14. Sac State had a hitting percentage of .455 compared to the Grizzlies’ .136. 

Set two saw another dominant win for Sac State. Sophomore defensive specialist Paige Calvin closed out a 9-1 run by the Hornets with her second ace of the night, giving Sac State set two 25-17. 

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“I thought Sarah and (junior middle blocker) Cianna (Andrews) did a really good job attacking,” Sac State head coach Ruben Volta said. “Paige Calvin came off the bench and served really tough for us.” 

Montana’s defense came back out ready to play in the next set. After recovering from a 14-7 deficit, the Grizzlies almost ran away with the set.

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However, Sac State battled back. Two consecutive kills from Davis tied up the score 24-24. 

In the end, the small rally from the Hornets was not enough, as Montana took set three with a slim margin of victory at 26-24. 

“I think sometimes the opponent just plays well,” Volta said. “We had a few hitting errors and we didn’t execute well, but it’s a credit to them. I thought (Montana) played well.”

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After another closely contested set with seven ties, the Hornets ended on the right side of the scoreboard in set four, taking the set 26-24 to win the match 3-1. The Hornets combined for 59 kills to the Grizzlies’ 41. 

Davis led the team in kills with 19 and also recorded 7 blocks for the night. Davis currently leads the Big Sky in kills per set (4.31) and is third in the nation for kills (371). 

RELATED: Sac State volleyball player exhibits exceptional leadership as team’s lone senior

Junior outside hitter Macey Hayden ended the match with 10 kills, 14 digs and a pair of aces. Sophomore setter Ashtin Olin had 42 assists and 11 digs.

“I felt we were really in the game, we were really connecting, we were really being aggressive from the start,” said Hayden. “We talked a lot about last game, being able to adjust when the team starts to push back, and I thought we did that really well. We were really just in tune with each other on the court and with what we had to do.”

The Hornets’ next match is on the road Saturday at 6:00 p.m. against Montana State.