Sac State volleyball knocked out of Big Sky tournament by Portland State

Season comes to an end


Tony Rodriguez

Sacramento State volleyball’s sophomore middle blocker Kalani Hayes (12) and sophomore outside hitter Bridgette Smith (8) face off with Portland State senior setter Ally Wada (4) at the Hornets Nest on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. The Hornets were eliminated from the Big Sky tournament in a 3-2 loss against Portland State in the Big Sky conference tournament hosted in Utah on Thursday.

Tony Rodriguez

Sacramento State volleyball will not advance to the semifinals despite rolling into the Big Sky Conference tournament hot. Portland State defeated the Hornets 3-2 in a close match hosted in Ogden, Utah.

“It was two really good teams playing each other,” said head coach Ruben Volta. “It was a back and forth match. It really came down to a couple of plays.”

Sac State began the season with a rough start but was able to turn things around. During the regular season, they went on a seven-game win streak and were able to secure a spot in the season-ending tournament in Utah.

In the first set of the match, the Hornets started strong, holding the lead majority of the set. The teams battled it out through the set as they both tried to keep an advantage. Both sides struggled with giving up points on errors. 

The Hornets gave up the lead late in the first and let the set slip. The Portland State Vikings took the set 25-18 and had two more kills in the set than Sac State with 16.

Hornet sophomore outside hitter Bridgette Smith had five kills in the first and Portland State’s senior outside hitter Zoe McBride had three kills in the set.

In the second the Vikings used their front wall to make it difficult for the Hornets but the runs were not enough to put away Sac State in the second. The Hornets got their first set win of the match 25-22.

Smith had another five kills in the set giving her 10 total. In the second the Hornets tightened up their offense and held a .263 hit percentage.

The Vikings came out ready to play in the third and began to force the Hornet defense to react. In a close set, there were three lead changes and seven tie scores. Sac State won the set 25-17.

Portland State’s strong defense kept them in competition in the third as they struggled to maintain a solid hit average. Sac State was unable to contain the Viking offense and was one set closer to dropping the match. 

The fourth was a pivotal set for the Vikings as their offense came alive and took the set 25-14. 

The team began to out-swing the Hornets and forced a fifth set.

The fifth was the fate-deciding match for both teams, and Portland State took it 15-13. Viking redshirt senior outside hitter Parker Webb had five kills, and redshirt senior outside hitter Maddy Reeb had four. 

“We played some good volleyball,” said junior defensive specialist Caty Cordano. “I think we fought really hard and played some good defense.”

Smith was just named first-team all-Big Sky this week. She recorded 20 kills and 10 digs in the match. Four Hornets put up double digits in digs, and Cordano hit a team best of 17.


“I’m super proud of us, you can see how much we truly care, ” Smith said. “It was a game that could have gone either way, and unfortunately it just didn’t go our way.”

It was the final game for Sac State seniors Macey Hayden, Cianna Andrews, Michelle Taynton, Claudia Wilson and Sarah Falk. Andrews finished with big numbers for Sac State with 681 kills and 310 blocks along with Hayden who finished with 618 kills and 797 digs.

The Hornets end the season 16-12 overall and 10-6 in league play.