Sac State volleyball splits 1-1 in home weekend standoff

Hornets improve to 7-4 in-conference as Big Sky tournament draws near


Alyssa Branum

[FILE] Senior Sac State volleyball outside-hitter Bridgette Smith attempting to return a ball over the net Saturday, Oct. 23, 2022, in The Nest. The Hornet split a 1-1 series in a home weekend standoff against Northern Colorado and Northern Arizona.

Myla Booth

In their first matchup of the weekend, the Sacramento State volleyball team fell 3-1 against Northern Colorado Thursday evening at The Nest.

The Hornets went head-to-head with Northern Colorado for who would take over third place in the Big Sky conference. In the end, Northern Colorado took third place while also improving to 13-8 overall and 7-4 in the Big Sky play. 

“I liked our effort for sure,” head coach Ruben Volta said. “But I don’t think we took care of the ball very well and made some mistakes. I think there were some chances that we let get away from us during that fourth set especially.” 


First Set: 15-25 Northern Colorado

Sac State and Northern Colorado started the match with a very intense set.

Northern Colorado came into the first set with teamwork and momentum. Moving around the whole court and making sure the Hornets didn’t secure a set. 

The Hornets couldn’t keep up with the Bears while making some errors in this set, Despite having some good blocks.

The Bears took the first set 25-15. The Bears had a total of 15 kills compared to the Hornets 4 kills this set. 


Second Set: 11-25 Northern Colorado 

Going into the second set, Northern Colorado kept their momentum going into this next set for a convincing win. 

The Hornets tried to make clean saves but still made errors while playing against the Bears. 

The Bears defeated the Hornets in the set with a 14 point lead, taking the second set 25-11. 

“I feel like we could’ve started more intense and been more in the game,” junior outside hitter Caitlin Volkmann said. “We were a little behind, so everything kind of caught us off guard.” 


Third Set: 25-16 Sac State

The Hornets started off very strong in this set. They were able to keep the lead with only one lead change.

Sac State’s momentum was up as the stands were filled with electrifying energy for the Hornets comeback; this time, the Bears couldn’t keep up. 

“We really turned it around, which I’m proud of because that’s hard to come back from such a down first two sets,” Volkmann said. 

The Bears started making small errors that gave them a disadvantage in locking down a win this set. The Hornets secured this third set 25-16. 


Fourth Set: 26-24 Northern Colorado 

The Hornets started aggressively offensively and defensively. There were a total of five ties and three lead changes in this set. 

Sac State had a seven point lead at one point, but Northern Colorado wasn’t ready to give up. 

The Bears started too slowly to build their momentum back up, crawling to only 2points down from the Hornets, then suddenly getting it to a tie. It all happened so quickly. 

Sac State had made a small attacking error, giving a point to the Bears, who took it from there to the win. The Bears walked away 26-24 in this final set. 

“We needed to just be able to play at a high level for a long period of time. We did it for a little while tonight,” Volta said. 



In their second straight match at home, the Hornets swept Northern Arizona 3-0 in a home match in The Nest Saturday afternoon. 

The Hornets has improved their standing 11-12 overall and 7-4 in the Big Sky conference play after the win. 

“I felt alright. I thought we had a good practice yesterday,” head coach Ruben Volta said. “I knew after the loss from the other night we would come out with a good effort, and I thought we did.” 


First Set: 25-15 Sac State

The Lumberjacks were leading the first set by five points until a media timeout, and from there on the Hornets were unbeatable. 

Sac State took aggressive control, bringing them up to 19-12. The Hornets killed this set and came out with 19 total kills compared to the Lumberjacks eight. 

With only three ties and one lead change this set, The Hornets came out on top 25-15. 

“I felt like we needed to get a win today after Thursday. I felt like we were hungry to make up for Thursday night’s game,” junior middle blocker Kalani Hayes said. 


Second Set: 25-11 Sac State

Sac State came out of the first set knowing they were in control and brought that same momentum into the second set. 

They had strong double blocks — when two players block together close to the net —  shutting down Northern Arizona’s lead. 

The Lumberjacks tried to catch up but couldn’t find their footing, making some serving errors and small faults. 

“We passed really well, so it helped run our offense because everybody got to attack,” Volta said. “Serving and defense was really good today too. We just played really well in all phases of the game.” 

The Hornets were moving all across the floor as a team, coming out victorious in the second set with 25-11. 


Third Set: 25-17

Northern Arizona took the lead in the third and final set until Sac State tied it five to five. There were a total of four ties and the Hornets came out victorious. 

The Lumberjacks tried to keep up but couldn’t for long. The Hornets pulled out with the victory 25-17 in the final set. 

The Hornets cleared the Lumberjacks in a straight sweep 3-0 to win the match. 

“We played ahead of the game and not really letting any point get to us,” Hayes said. “They would get a few good kills and good blocks, but we just didn’t let it phase us.” 



The Hornets will be on the road for the next two games against Montana State University on Thursday at 6 p.m. and the University of Montana on Saturday at 11 p.m.