Sac State volleyball downs Portland State for sixth victory in a row


Tony Rodriguez

Outside hitters Bridgette Smith (8), Tiyanane Kamba-Griffin (17) and middle blocker Kalani Hayes (12) prepare for an incoming serve from Portland State at the Hornets Nest on Oct. 19, 2021. The Hornets defeated Portland State on the road in four sets in an away matchup on Thursday.

Tony Rodriguez

Sacramento State volleyball took down second-place Portland State three sets to one on the road Thursday to move their record to 14-10 and remain fourth place in the Big Sky Conference. 

“We have to take games one at a time,” said middle blocker Kalani Hayes. “We need to take every game for what it is.”

The Hornets found success at the very beginning of the initial set but hitting errors doomed them as they could not hold on. Portland State handed the Hornets a 25-18 loss in the first, marking the team’s first set loss since Oct. 16. 

In the second set, the Hornets were able to find their footing. It was a stronger one for the team as it took the set 25-15. The visiting team was unable to keep its defense in sync after a promising first set.

The Hornets were able to pick up 14 kills to the Vikings’ six kills.

The third set was the closest in the match. Both teams rallied back and forth for an edge in the set. The Hornets were able to challenge the Vikings at the net and keep their errors to a minimum which helped them take the third 25-22.

Aggressive offense allowed the Hornets to hold the advantage in the third. Three Hornets had nine kills in the match by the end of the set. Blocking was also a huge factor for Sac State, as they had 12 blocks by that point.

Sac State began the fourth looking to wrap things up but Portland’s offensive adjustments in between sets made it difficult, in what again turned out to be a back-and-forth battle. 

“We’re really devoted to playing tough for each other,” said outside hitter Macey Hayden. “I think we’re doing a really good job of stepping up and playing together as a team. It feels really amazing.”

Portland played  strong offensively, but the Hornets were rolling and won the set 25-23. Sac State’s defense allowed Portland State 12 kills in the set.

“This team is playing so hard and so well together,” said head coach Ruben Volta. “We just have to keep on playing with a lot of effort.”

Hayden had a season-high in the game with 12 kills and 22 digs for the Hornets. Sac State is now (8-5) in the Big Sky Conference and tied for fourth place with both Montana State and Northern Arizona.

The Hornets will go for their seventh win in a row in their next match on the road against Northern Arizona on Saturday at 6 p.m.