Sac State volleyball team loses to first-place Northern Colorado

Hornets’ 4-game winning streak snapped

Sac+State+senior+outside+hitter+Sarah+Davis+prepares+to+serve+the+ball+against+Northern+Colorado+Thursday%2C+Oct.+17+at+The+Nest.+Davis+had+a+game-high+20+kills+in+the+loss+to+the+Bears.
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Sac State volleyball team loses to first-place Northern Colorado

Sac State senior outside hitter Sarah Davis prepares to serve the ball against Northern Colorado Thursday, Oct. 17 at The Nest. Davis had a game-high 20 kills in the loss to the Bears.

Sac State senior outside hitter Sarah Davis prepares to serve the ball against Northern Colorado Thursday, Oct. 17 at The Nest. Davis had a game-high 20 kills in the loss to the Bears.

Patrick Walsh

Sac State senior outside hitter Sarah Davis prepares to serve the ball against Northern Colorado Thursday, Oct. 17 at The Nest. Davis had a game-high 20 kills in the loss to the Bears.

Patrick Walsh

Patrick Walsh

Sac State senior outside hitter Sarah Davis prepares to serve the ball against Northern Colorado Thursday, Oct. 17 at The Nest. Davis had a game-high 20 kills in the loss to the Bears.

Robyn Dobson

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In a matchup between the top two teams in the Big Sky Conference, the Sacramento State volleyball team lost in four sets to the University of Northern Colorado at The Nest Thursday night.

The loss snapped the Hornets’ (10-11, 5-3 Big Sky) four-game win streak and extended the Bears’ (13-6, 7-0) winning streak to seven.

Although the Hornets were facing the best team in Big Sky, the players were excited for the game ahead of the match, according to senior outside hitter Sarah Davis.

“We were really excited,” Davis said. “Playing against an undefeated team is really fun because they have a lot of confidence. It’s fun to play against a team that’s ready to compete at a high level.”

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

The Bears, who have won every conference game in four sets or less, were dominant during the first two sets, constantly throwing the Hornets out of system. 

Northern Colorado took an 8-7 lead midway through the first set and held the lead for the remainder of the set, winning 25-16. 

Sac State only recorded eight kills during the first set to Northern Colorado’s 14. Davis had seven of those eight kills for her team.

Patrick Walsh
Sac State junior middle blocker Cianna Andrews and senior outside hitter Sarah Davis attempt to block Northern Colorado junior middle blocker Lauren Hinrichs Thursday, Oct. 17 at The Nest. The Hornets lost in four sets to the Bears.

The second set saw a more closely contested game with 13 ties and eight lead changes. However, the Hornets’ were still unable to take down the Bears and dropped set two 25-19.

“They played so well those first two sets,” said head coach Ruben Volta. “They served really tough and kind of got us out of our offense so it became a struggle those first couple sets.”

The Hornets came back out for set three aggressive and put Northern Colorado on their heels. Sac State applied pressure, holding the lead for the entire set. 

RELATED: Sac State volleyball team sweeps Portland State in 3 sets

With a team hitting percentage of .438 compared to the Bears’ .184, the Hornets took set three 25-19, forcing a fourth set.

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Set four was also closely contested with five ties. However, it was the Bears who came out on top 25-22, giving them the match win and preserving their perfect record. 

“(In) the fourth set, (we) came out and I think we battled really well, they just outworked us in some ways and we have to work on that,” said junior outside hitter Macey Hayden. 

The loss Thursday dropped the Hornets down to third place in Big Sky. 

The Hornets combined for 41 kills and 47 digs during the loss. Davis was responsible for almost half of the kills, ending the night with 20. Davis also recorded six digs and a hitting percentage of .304.

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Hayden recorded nine kills and seven digs. Sophomore setter Ashtin Olin ended the night with 30 assists, two aces and seven digs. 

“Kinda the mindset we’ve always had is that we are going to come to work ten times harder than (the other) people,” Hayden said. “Tonight we didn’t execute, but we are going to get back in practice and work even harder and hopefully get back to that mindset that we always want to have.”

The Hornets play at home again Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. against the University of Montana.