RECAP: Sac State volleyball split matches on the road against NAU and UNC

The Hornets walk away with a win and a loss, moving to 3-1 in conference play


Jordan Latimore

[File photo] The Sac State women’s volleyball team embraces after scoring in a match against Idaho State on Sept. 25, 2022, in The Nest at Sac State. The Hornets split two matches over the last week as their Big Sky Conference record moved to 3-1.

Myla Booth

The Sacramento State women’s volleyball team went on the road this week to play against Northern Arizona University on Thursday, coming out with a 3-2 win in the match. 

In the second game on the road against Northern Colorado on Saturday, the Hornets were defeated 1-3 in the match. 

The Hornets are now at 7-9 overall and 3-1 in the Big Sky Conference. 

Thursday: The Hornets win on the road against Northern Arizona, win 3-2 

After starting 2-0 in conference play, Sac State traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona on Thursday night and were able to pick up their third straight win to start Big Sky play. 

The first set was tied four times until the Hornets came out with a seven point victory over the Lumberjacks with a win of 25-18. 

“We started off playing really well– especially blocking,” head coach Ruben Volta said. “I thought passing and blocking we just did really well in the beginning of the match.” 

Senior defensive specialist Caty Cordano had a total of 11 digs in the first set. She said the Hornets did a “really good job” of getting a “next point mentality” and staying aggressive during plays. 

Going into the second set, the Hornets and the Lumberjacks had no ties and no lead changes and the Hornets easily took the set 25-13. 

“[Coaches] told us to focus on just keeping a swing at a fast-tempo offense and just really holding on defense,” Cordano said. 

In the third and fourth set of the match, the Lumberjacks started to play more aggressively and turned the notch up on their intensity. 

The third set was very close– having a total of 11 ties and two lead changes. 

“It was a really competitive third set and I wasn’t super happy because we missed a lot of serves,” Volta said. “I felt like we made more errors in that set which kind of opened the door for Northern Arizona.” 

The Lumberjacks pushed through with a win in the third set of 26-24. The Lumberjacks had two more kills than the Hornets, which they scored back-to-back after the set was tied 24-24.  

Cordano came through with a total of 14 digs alone in the fourth set.

The Hornets fell against the Lumberjacks in the fourth set by a score of 25-22. 

The Hornets bounced back in the fifth and final set of the match as the Lumberjacks started falling on defense and gave the Hornets the upperhand. 

This set had a total of six ties and five lead changes. 

Sac State got back into defensive mode and pulled back out the aggressive play they had in the beginning of the match to come out with a win of 15-12 this set. 

Cordano finished the match with a total of 43 digs. She set the new school record of 43 digs, beating the previous record of 42 first set by All-American Jill Haas who played for the Hornets in 1995. 

“I feel really good, and I think I can’t do a lot of it without my blockers,” Cordano said. “I think when they are setting up a really good block and they can’t swing down the line, all the opposing hitters have to do is swing across the court, so I think that really helps.” . 

Cordano said her coaching staff has been working really hard with her on staying in the right spots and reacting the right way. 

“I think of it like a team effort type deal,” Cordano said.

Saturday: The Hornets fall on the road against Northern Colorado, lose 1-3 

After taking the win of 3-2 against Northern Arizona, Sac State went on the road to Greeley, Colorado Saturday evening and lost to University of Northern Colorado. The Hornets now sit at 7-9 overall and 3-1 in the Big Sky. 

Despite the loss, the Hornets matched up with Northern Colorado in a very close contest.

Both the Hornets and the Bears started the game hot and had good defensive plays throughout this entire match. 

Sac State was able to pull through with a win in the first set of 25-23. Junior outside hitter Bridgette Smith secured the last kills for the Hornets to come out on top in this set. 

The second set was another tight one as the Bears came through with the win of 25-27 after a total of 21 ties.

The Hornets and the Bears were not going down without a fight, as they batted to the last tie of 25-25. 

Northern Colorado came out on top after they hit the Hornets with two back-to-back kills to end the set. 

“Just any couple of plays could’ve been helped– like one or two more blocks, one or two more digs,” Volta said. “I would say I wish we could’ve just controlled the ball a little better along with a little better accuracy in our passing and our digs to give ourselves a little better chance offensively.” 

The third set was close as the Hornets had a 23-22 lead toward the end until the Bears were able to hit the Hornets with three straight kills, resulting in the third set going 25-23 for the Bears. 

“I think we did really good at not backing down. We were down like five points in the third set at one point, but we managed to find a way back and tie it up at some point,” Smith said. “ I think just always fighting was really good on our part.”

The Bears were able to get in the groove from the two previous sets to take the win in the last set 21-25. 

The Bears walked away with a hotly contested win of 3-1 in the match at home against the Hornets. 

The Hornets will be returning home to play against Montana on Thursday at 7 p.m.