CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Sophomore outside hitter Morgan Stanley had a career-high 24 kills to lead Sacramento State to a 3-1 victory (25-27, 25-21, 25-23, 25-19) over host Charlotte in the fourth and final round of the Charlotte Volleyball Invitational Saturday evening at Halton Arena.
Stanley's 24 kills surpassed her previous career high of 18, set last season at Montana State. The sophomore from Parker, Colo., had just three errors in 46 attacks, hit .457, and added an ace and six digs. It was her kill at 24-23 that ended the third frame, and fittingly, her kill at 24-19 of the fourth frame that ended the match.
The victory allowed the Hornets to finish the season-opening tournament with a 2-2 record while Charlotte dropped to 3-1. Sacramento State posted a win over ETSU, and dropped matches against UNCG and Morgan State. At the conclusion of this evening's match, Hornet sophomore Madeline Cannon was named to the all-tournament team after finishing the tourney with averages of 2.33 kills and 0.73 blocks per set while hitting .356.
In tonight's match, the Hornets hit a season-high .374, finishing with 63 kills with just 14 errors in 131 total attacks. In fact, Sacramento State hit at least .310 in all four sets, including .467 in the fourth frame. Conversely, Charlotte finished with a .197 hitting percentage while failing to hit anything better than .188 during each of the final three sets.
"We played well this evening, worked together, and this win was a total team effort," Sacramento State head coach Ruben Volta said. "Everyone played well, especially Morgan. She passed well and played good defense the entire tournament, and really attacked impressively in tonight's match."
In the third set, the Hornets erased a 20-18 deficit by finishing the set on a 7-3 run, highlighted by Stanley accounting for each of the team's final three points via kill. In addition, in the fourth set, with the score tied at 13-13, Stanley had kills on four straight points to give Sacramento State a 17-13 lead. The Hornets led by at least three points the rest of the way to finish off the win. During that fourth set, Stanley had eight kills without an error in 10 attacks.
Joining Stanley with double figures in kills was fellow outside hitter Sloan Lovett who finished with 15 kills, five digs and a .265 hitting percentage. Setter Kennedy Kurtz had six kills, a .750 hitting percentage (6-0-8), 51 assists and two blocks, and freshman middle blocker Lana Brown had five kills and a match-best .714 hitting percentage.
For Charlotte, Abreia Epps led the way with 15 kills while Sarah McDonald finished with 11 kills.
The Hornets return to action next week when they host the Sacramento State Invitational. The two-day tournament, which takes place on Friday and Saturday, will feature two matches on Friday and four on Saturday.
Joining Sacramento State will be Fresno State, Loyola Marymount and UC Santa Barbara. The Hornets open the tournament on Friday night against Fresno State at 7 p.m. For tournament information, including schedule and ticket prices, click here.