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The State Hornet

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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

‘Good teams just win’: Sac State wins to remain undefeated in conference play

The Hornets move to 3-0 in the Big Sky Conference in electric fashion
Reigning+Big+Sky+Conference+Defensive+Player+of+the+Week%2C+senior+middle+blocker+Kalani+Hayes+%232+going+for+a+kill+during+the+match+up+against+Portland+State+Friday%2C+Sept.+29%2C+2023.+Hayes+ended+the+day+with+6+kills%2C+15+team+assists+and+5+blocks+to+help+secure+the+win+for+the+Hornets.
Brionna Woody
Reigning Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Week, senior middle blocker Kalani Hayes #2 going for a kill during the match up against Portland State Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. Hayes ended the day with 6 kills, 15 team assists and 5 blocks to help secure the win for the Hornets.

The Sacramento State Hornets became the last undefeated team in conference play for the Big Sky Conference after defeating the Portland State Vikings with a 3-1 score on Friday.

Sac State has been on a tear recently with strong offensive performances and a record tying performance by senior middle blocker Tiyanane Kamba-Griffin. The Hornets brought their best, which was too much for the Vikings to overcome.

The Hornets were also playing for their honorary team captain, 6-year-old Penelope Calabrese, in the final game of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

In honor of how she fought and beat pediatric kidney cancer when she was 4 years old, the Hornets made her honorary team captain before the game started.

“We came into this game knowing this is a game that means more than just us, we’re playing for something bigger,” senior outside hitter Caitlin Volkmann said.

First set: 26-24 Hornets

The game started off much like a tug-of-war matchup with the Vikings and Hornets battling back and forth for the lead.

The lead changed six times throughout the set, but the Hornets were able to escape with the win with three consecutive points to finish the set. The Hornets led with 14 kills and nine blocks.

“Portland State is a really good team,” Sac State head coach Ruben Volta said. “They beat us twice last year, before that, we beat them twice, and we knew it was going to be a tough, tough match. I’m really proud of how we played.”

Second set: 25-23 Hornets

The Hornets got off to a quick start in the second set and claimed a lead that they would not relinquish to the Vikings.

The Vikings were stacking up errors, while the Hornets stacked up kills. The Hornets had five more kills than the Vikings and two more blocks, which helped them dominate the set.

Volkmann led the team in kills but credited her teammate for her offensive performance.
“It feels great, but obviously it’s a team effort,” Volkmann said. “Kay was my setter tonight, and she had great sets and then both middles pulled the block really well for me to hit in.”

RELATED: ‘It just felt right’: Sac State volleyball starts the Big Sky off right

Third Set 25-23 Vikings

With the game on the line, the Vikings made it known that they would not go down without a fight and came out swinging.

The third set was practically a fist fight with the Vikings striking fast and the Hornets answering back with their own haymaker.

The Vikings went on a 7-4 run, then the Hornets answered with their own run to make it 8-7. It all came down to who would have the momentum, and in the end, the Vikings did.

The set ended with a 7-3 run in favor of the Vikings and they took the set.

“Good teams just win, so we gave ourselves some grace and just said we’re going to be that good team,” Kamba-Griffin said. “We’re going to go out there and show them what we can do, this is our nest. We have to protect our home.”

Fourth Set: 25-15 Hornets

Protect their nest, they did.

The Hornets started the fourth set with a 15-2 run and never looked back. The 702 fans in attendance were roaring for almost the entire set.

“Volleyball is a big momentum sport,” Volta said. “We got off to a good start and sometimes it just spirals.”

The star of the show was senior middle blocker Tiyanane Kamba-Griffin who made school history with her performance. She tallied up 12 blocks, which tied her for tenth most blocks in a single game.

“That was pretty exciting,” Kamba-Griffin said. “I should have got one more.”

Kamba Griffin can look to surpass her new record as her team hits the road to face off against the Idaho Vandals at 6 p.m. on Oct. 5.

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About the Contributor
Ryan Lorenz, Sports Staffer
(he/him) Ryan Lorenz is in his second semester at The State Hornet. He is a former Sports Editor for Cosumnes River College's publication, The Connection. He has a strong passion for sports and plans on having a career in sports media.
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