RECAP: Sac State volleyball splits 1-1 on road matches

The Hornets record stands at 12-13 after the weekend in Montana


Adoreil Ayoubgoulan

[FILE] Sacramento State volleyball players embrace after a point on Thursday, Oct. 6 2022, against Montana at The Nest. The Hornets split matches this weekend to bring their Big Sky record to 8-5.

Myla Booth, Volleyball Beat Writer

The Sacramento State volleyball team went on the road to play against Montana State University on Thursday evening, falling 1-3 to the Bobcats in the match. 

The second match on the road was against the University of Montana on Saturday afternoon; the Hornets took a 3-1 victory in this match. 

The Hornets are currently 12-13 overall and 8-5 in the Big Sky Conference play. 

Thursday: The Hornets fall down on the road against Montana State, lose 1-3 

In a Big Sky matchup Thursday evening, Sac State volleyball hit the road to Bozeman, Montana. The Hornets had a very competitive match with Montana State but fell to the Bobcats in the end. 

The Hornets came into the opening set with a sturdy offense and stayed aggressive. The Bobcats weren’t able to keep up while making a few out of bound serves and errors hitting the net. 

Senior setter Ashtin Olin came through with a back handed sneak attack over the net and a powerful double-block with junior middle blocker Kalani Hayes. 

The Hornets were moving consistently across the floor, working together, making sure they were all in sync and hit the Bobcats with striking back row attacks.

Montana State was not able to keep up with Sac State’s momentum. They pulled through with the win of 25-20 in the first set. 

Sac State and Montana State were close all of the second set. There were a total of 12 ties in this set; both teams were pulling out forceful attacks. 

While both teams made net and out of bounds errors, the Hornets were going point-by-point until the Bobcats took the lead by two points, walking away with the win of 25-23 in the second set. 

“I think we played hard at times, but we just didn’t play well,” Sac State head coach Ruben Volta said. “Credit to the other team. I thought Montana State played well.” 

Going into the last two sets, the Bobcats had an advantage because the Hornets continued making errors and Montana State took control of this set. 

Senior middle blocker Tiyanane Kamba-Griffin came through with a killer block. Kamba-Griffin is ranked second place in the Big Sky Conference for blocks. 

The Hornets again started making out of bounds errors and service errors which gave the Bobcats a chance to gain momentum, taking the win this match.

“When they started passing better and playing defense better, it was getting harder to stop them,” senior setter Ashtin Olin said. “We just started to feel stressed out and we were just trying to fight for it to gain that control, but we couldn’t.” 

The Bobcats defeated the Hornets 3-1 in this match. 

Saturday: The Hornets bounced back from their loss against Montana State with a victorious win against the University of Montana, win 3-1

Sac State came out ready to avenge their loss against the University of Montana after falling to the Grizzlies on Thursday evening.

“We played really steady and played really hard,” Volta said. “They worked really hard.”

The Hornets started strong with the first kill in the first set. The Grizzlies kept up early in the game, getting to one point down from the Hornets when the score was six to five.  

Sac State and Montana did have some back-to-back service errors. 

The Grizzlies called a timeout as the Hornets were at a five-point lead and kept that momentum up the whole rest of the first set as they came out with the win of 25-20. 

The second set was a very aggressive one, with a total of eight ties and two lead changes. 

Sac State took the lead until Montana started to catch up and took control, pulling through with the win of 25-21 to even the match 1-1. 

“I felt like the second set, Montana played better and we just didn’t quite execute a few plays,” Volta said. “I thought we were still pretty focused and played well.” 

The Hornets brought it back going into the third set. Sac State stayed in the lead as the Grizzlies trailed behind them. 

Sac State did have a small hit out of bounds which gave a point to Montana. The Grizzlies  tried to take advantage of being close but couldn’t. 

The Hornets came out with the win of 25-20 in this third set. 

Going into the fourth and final set, the Hornets had strong defense and were ready to attack. 

Junior outside hitter Bridgette Smith came in with a big kill attack getting Sac State to a tie with Montana at five to five. 

The tie held until the Grizzlies started making errors hitting the net. They were still able to keep a close point by point with the Hornets. 

Junior middle hitter Kalani Hayes had a great defensive termination block after an attack coming from Montana.   

After a media timeout, the Hornets were able to get up to a six-point lead and kept it up from their working together. Montana was making a few small service errors.  

“I think we just got away from our standards a little in the second set,” senior defensive specialist Caty Cordano said. “But we played a lot cleaner of the sets we won. When you put a lot of pressure on a team, it makes it really hard for them to fight back, so I feel like the first, third and fourth set, we really did that well.”

Cordano was able to hit a personal milestone, recording her 1,000th career digs in this match. 

Sac State won this match against the University of Montana with the win of 3-1. 

The Hornets will return home to play against Eastern Washington on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Nest.