Sac State volleyball team goes 1-1 on the road

Hornets suffer first sweep against Big Sky opponent


Ian Edwards

Members of the Sac State volleyball team celebrate a set win against Idaho on Thursday, Oct. 31 at The Nest. The Hornets went 1-1 on their recent road trip and now have a record of 13-14 (8-6 Big Sky Conference) headed into the final two weeks of the regular season.

Robyn Dobson

The Sacramento State volleyball team suffered its first three-set sweep by a Big Sky opponent against Northern Arizona University as the opener to their two-game road trip Thursday night.

However, the Hornets (13-14, 8-6 Big Sky Conference) bounced back to sweep Southern Utah University (13-13, 6-8) Saturday afternoon.

Set one against Northern Arizona (15-10, 8-5) saw a slow start for the Hornets as they allowed the Lumberjacks to go on a 5-0 scoring run to give Northern Arizona an early 8-3 lead. 

Sac State finally took their first lead of the set at 11-10 on a net violation. However, a string of four aces from NAU ended the set and gave the Lumberjacks a 25-16 victory.

“I don’t think we passed well at all in that game,” head coach Ruben Volta said. “NAU does serve really well, but the passing breakdown really caused us to play poorly.” 

RELATED: Volleyball coaches’ careers come full circle at Sac State

Northern Arizona established dominance into set two. The Lumberjacks continued to control the game from the service line, ending set two on an ace to roll over Sac State 25-10 and take a 2-0 lead.

The Lumberjacks completed their victory in another powerful showing as the Hornets never seemed to recover from their first set loss. 

Sac State continued to make attack errors and was limited to a .000 hitting percentage or less for all three sets. 

“We really hit a lot of balls out-of-bounds and made a lot of unforced errors,” Volta said. “You just can’t do that against good teams. That was pretty much the story of the match, bad passing and hitting balls out-of-bounds.”

Sac State held just one lead at 1-0 in the third set. Northern Arizona took set three 25-15, winning the match and sweeping the Hornets. 

Northern Arizona outplayed Sac State in almost every aspect, serving up 12 aces to the Hornets’ two and recording 10 team blocks to just three from Sac State. 

“I think we were a little bit too timid,” junior middle blocker Cianna Andrews said. “We didn’t really attack like we should. We just weren’t in the right mindset to come out with the win in that game.”

Senior outside hitter Sarah Davis led the team in kills for the 20th consecutive match with 11. Davis also finished the match with five digs. 

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

Junior outside hitter Macey Hayden recorded six kills and 10 blocks. Sophomore setter Ashtin Olin had 19 assists and eight digs.

Sac State opened their second road game of the week with a dominant showing over Southern Utah on Saturday.

After suffering a disappointing sweep Thursday, the Hornets came out looking like a whole new team. 

“Today, was honestly the best we have played in a while,” Volta said. “I think we just did everything really well today. We served well. Southern Utah played good, but I think they just caught us on a good day where we played well.”

A 5-0 unanswered run and three aces cemented a first set 25-18 victory for Sac State. 

The Hornets began the second set with a 4-0 lead and held the lead for the entire set. Southern Utah found themselves riddled with errors and unable to handle the defensive and offensive pressure from Sac State. 

Sac State held Southern Utah to just a .054 hitting percentage during the second set. The Thunderbirds dropped set two 25-16, giving the Hornets match point heading into the third set. 

A small offensive showing from Southern Utah gave them a 5-0 lead to begin the set. However, they quickly let the lead slip through their fingers as Sac State clawed their way back to take a 13-12 lead midway through.The Hornets took set three 25-19 to give them the match win. 

“I think we really tried to turn it around today,” Andrews said. “It starts even before practice. We really wanted to have a good practice yesterday. We wanted to come out with a lot of energy and have more confidence and pride in our school and really just play for each other.”

Sac State limited Southern Utah to just a .104 hitting percentage for the match while the Hornets hit .300. Sac State also recorded 44 kills to the Thunderbirds’ 27. 

Davis led the team with 13 kills. Olin had 29 assists and led the team in digs with 14. 

Freshman outside hitter Kayla Subbert recorded nine kills, four blocks and a .300 hitting percentage. Andrews ended the match with eight kills and four blocks.

“Hopefully we play how steady we played today,” Volta said on the upcoming game against Weber State University. “We just played well on all facets of the game. It’s sort of the key to the game, being able to serve and pass and play good defense, so hopefully we can do it again.”

The Hornets are back home at The Nest Thursday at 7:00 p.m. when they host the second-place Wildcats (18-7, 9-5).