Women’s volleyball wins two consecutive games on the road

Team forces comeback against Idaho in 3-2 win


Tony Rodriguez

The Sacramento State women’s volleyball team plays against Boise State in the Sacramento State invitational tournament on Sept. 11, 2021. The team forced a comeback win against Idaho on Saturday to even their Big Sky Conference record.

Tony Rodriguez

Sacramento State lost the first two sets against the University of Idaho on the road only to come back and win the match on Saturday afternoon.

The Hornets withstood Idaho, 3-2. 

The Sacramento State volleyball team evened their Big Sky Conference record (2-2) and overall record (6-6) as they completed a northwest road trip with a win. 

The Hornets arrived in Idaho after a previous win on the road against Eastern Washington on Thursday. The Hornets won that game in a straight set sweep and hoped to continue their win streak.

In the first set, Sac State started with an early lead 4-3. The Hornets were able to maintain a lead for the majority of the first but were unable to finish. It was a close first set at 14-14. 

Idaho redshirt senior middle blocker Nikki Ball’s effort from the front line made it difficult for the Hornets’ defense. It was a back and forth set with many service errors coming from both sides. 

Sac State sophomore outside hitter Bridgette Smith had four kills in the first set, but Idaho still won the opening set 25-22 by taking advantage of Sacramento State’s five service errors.

There were four lead changes in a back and forth opening set. Hornets sophomore middle blocker Kalani Hayes had three kills in the opening set along with Smith who had four kills.

Idaho won and played a strong second set. Junior middle blocker Tiyanane Kamba-Griffin  made her first appearance of the night in the second. Griffin leads Sacramento State’s team in blocks. Idaho relied on splitting defenders in Sac State’s front line defense. 

Sac State still showed offensive strength in the front block through the set scoring on some tip points over Idaho’s blockers. Idaho continued to exploit the middle gap in order to win the set.

Head coach Ruben Volta was able to make an important challenge on play, a potential tip to take the lead 20-19. The ball previously ruled in Idaho’s favor was overturned.

Idaho middle blockers freshman Rachel Davis and redshirt sophomore Travel Morris both had four kills in the second set, while senior Allison Munday , who leads the team in kills this season, had five. Sac State was able to bring things closer, but Idaho went on a run to take the final four points of the second set.

Sac State needed a win in the third set to hang on and they got it. The Hornets were able to come alive with sophomore outside hitter Caitlin Volkmann and senior middle blocker Cianna Andrews providing stability at the front of the net for Sac State. 

Andrews got her seventh kill in the third set. Sac State led the whole third set and closed it out 25-17.

Sac State then needed the fourth to stay in the game.

Andrews made an impact in the fourth with kill number 10 and an important block to keep her team in competition.

The Hornets defense was able to make hustle plays giving them some points they could have easily lost. It was a much closer set than the third. At the end of the set, it was an even game at 25-25. Sac State delivered with a service ace on the match point to force a fifth set.

Sac State came into the fifth set looking to keep their momentum going after winning the last two sets. 

It was a back and forth final that came down to the wire. Both teams fought while having two sets each in the match.  

The Vandals held off through four match points before falling to Sac State 17-15. 

Volkmann had a match high of 18 kills for the Hornets. Sac State made it all the way back and won the match (3-2) as they completed their northwest road trip sweep. 

Volkmann, Smith,  Andrews and middle blocker Karlee Soderburg all finished in double figures. 

The Hornets will return to play at home for their next match after  six consecutive games on the road. They will face Northern Arizona University on Thursday at 7 p.m. and Southern Utah on Saturday at 1 p.m.