Sac State volleyball team recaps their month spent on the road

Hornets now in Big Sky Conference play after September trip


Ian Edwards

Sac State senior outside hitter Sarah Davis prepares to serve against Nevada Saturday Aug. 31 at the Nest. The Hornets return home from a season-long road trip Thursday against Southern Utah.

Robyn Dobson

The Sacramento State volleyball team concluded their month-long twelve-game road trip with a 3-2 loss at the University of Idaho Saturday. 

The Hornets (6-9, 1-1 Big Sky Conference) spent all of September on the road, traveling from Hawaii to Chicago to Idaho and experiencing an array of different settings according to players. 

“We don’t have that home-court advantage, we’re on somebody else’s turf,” sophomore setter Ashtin Olin said about being on the road. “The feel of the gym is different, the environment is different.”

After a loss at the University of California, Davis to begin the trip, the Hornets traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii, for the Rainbow Wahine Invitational. Sac State was swept by both the University of Denver and host team, the University of Hawaii.

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The Hornets saw their only win of the invitational during its final round, over Army West Point. Sac State recovered from a 2-0 deficit to take down Army 3-2. 

Senior outside hitter Sarah Davis finished the match against Army with 16 kills and nine blocks. Junior outside hitter Macey Hayden recorded two career-highs in both 17 digs and 5 blocks. 

The Hornets then traveled to Chicago, Illinois, to compete in the UIC Invitational. Sac State started their tournament run Sept. 13, with a 3-1 loss to Murray State University. 

After losses to both Bradley University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, Sac State finished the tournament with a 0-3 record, dropping their overall season record to 3-7. 

Davis was named to the all-tournament team after having 14 or more kills in all three matches. 

After those two harsh weekends, the Hornets were ready to start fresh with a new set of opponents. 

“Every tournament is different and there are different teams at every tournament,” said head coach Ruben Volta. “I thought, the Arizona tournament, we played really well the whole weekend.”

The Wildcat Classic in Tucson, Arizona, was the Hornets’ next stop on the road and their final three games before Big Sky Conference play began. Sac State took on New Mexico State, Alabama State and the University of Arizona during the course of the two-day tournament and finally achieved success.

The Hornets took down New Mexico and Alabama on the first day of the tournament 3-2 and 3-0, respectively. 

Sac State suffered their only defeat of the tournament after a 3-1 loss to host team Arizona. Despite the loss, the Hornets finished the tournament with the second-best record. 

Davis was once again named to the all-tournament team for her third time this season. Olin made it to the all-tournament team as well. 

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“We did really well in our tournament against Arizona,” Olin said. “Mentally, we just matured a lot, quickly. It kick-started this whole thing where we were like let’s work on us, let’s work on our side and that helped with conference play.”

Sac State officially opened Big Sky Conference play with a 3-1 win at Eastern Washington University Sept. 26. 

Sac State took the first two sets 25-14 and 25-18. Eastern Washington forced a fourth set after taking set three by a slim margin of  25-21. However, Sac State held strong, rolling over Washington 25-13 in the final set. 

Junior middle blocker Cianna Andrews helped lead the Hornets to victory with 12 kills and a pair of blocks. Junior libero Michelle Taynton led the team in digs with 18. 

The Hornets played their final road game and second conference game of the trip at Idaho. The five-set loss to the Vandals dropped Sac State’s conference record to 1-1. 

After winning two of the first three sets, Idaho came from behind to take set four and force a fifth. Sac State dropped the fifth set 15-5, giving Idaho the match victory. 

“I think we got tentative,” Volta said. “We just didn’t play as aggressively as we had been, even on serve, receive, passing and certainly on attacking.”

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Davis led the team with 24 kills in the loss against the Vandals. Olin recorded 53 assists and a pair of aces during the match. 

“We fought a lot on the road,” Davis said. “It’s not always easy playing in a new gym or someone else’s gym and I think that overall, we have a lot to work on. It was a good opener for this weekend and I think we’re ready to get back out there this weekend and play some more.”

The Hornets are back at The Nest Thursday at 7:00 p.m. to take on Southern Utah.