VOLLEYBALL LOSES ANOTHER HEARTBREAKER, THIS TIME TO WEBER STATE

VOLLEYBALL LOSES ANOTHER HEARTBREAKER, THIS TIME TO WEBER STATE

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- For the second time in four conference matches, Sacramento State squandered a match point before eventually losing. This time, the loss came to Weber State this afternoon by a 3-2 (25-17, 26-24, 8-25, 21-25, 16-14) score in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match at Colberg Court.

In the fifth set, Sacramento State used a 5-0 run to erase what had been a 13-9 deficit and take a 14-13 lead after a combo block from Morgan Stanley and Courtney Dietrich. With the Hornets leading, 14-13, and in possession of match point, Sloan Lovett ripped off a serve that was passed poorly and threw Weber State out of its offense, but Samantha Staker came up with the play of the match, hitting an awkward, off balance shot over the net and just out of the reach of the Hornet defense.

Weber State then followed with combo blocks on the next two points to take the set and match. The service line decided the set for the most part, as the Wildcats had three aces in the fifth set and took advantage of three Hornet service errors.

The Hornets also had three match points in their loss at Southern Utah last week, and what could be a 2-2 record in the Big Sky, instead has the team at 0-4 in league for the first time in school history. Sacramento State (5-14 overall) has dropped four straight and eight of its last nine. That run includes three five-set losses.

Sacramento State, playing with its youngest roster in school history at eight freshmen, five sophomores and three juniors, also had its eight-match winning streak against Weber State snapped. That run of wins against the Wildcats dated all the way back to the 2010 season. Today's victory improved Weber State to 4-13 overall and 1-3 in the Big Sky.

The loss also overshadowed a brilliant performance by Stanley. The sophomore outside hitter was the best player on the floor all afternoon, finishing with 22 kills, 10 aces, eight digs, six blocks and a .314 hitting percentage. The 10 aces shattered the previous school record of seven, which was shared by two players. The 22 kills were two shy of her career high and the six blocks matched her career high. Amazingly, all 10 aces came during the final three sets, including a robust seven in the third frame. In fact, during that third set, she served aces on five straight, and six of the final seven points of the frame. Stanley finished just two digs shy of her first career triple-double.

The Hornets also had an opportunity to win the second set, taking what looked to be a comfortable 24-22 lead after an ace from Lexie Skalbeck. But Weber State went on a 4-0 run to close the frame and take a 2-0 lead in sets.

Behind the serving of Stanley, Sacramento State finished the match with 14 aces, which tied for the second best mark in school single-match history. In addition, Weber State hit just .135 for the match, but was able to finish with six more kills (51-45) than the Hornets. In addition, the Wildcats had nine aces of their own, and posted five more digs than the Hornets (50-45).

Joining Stanley with double figures in kills for the Hornets was Sloan Lovett who finished with 11. Middle blocker Courtney Dietrich had four kills, three blocks and a .429 hitting percentage and Shannon Boyle added four kills. Defensively, libero Brigitte Murdock had a match-high 15 digs while Skalbeck added seven digs and two aces.

Weber State was led by Audrey Biggs' 19 kills as no other Wildcat player had more than eight. Four of those kills for Biggs came during the fifth set. Megan Thompson added seven kills and a .400 hitting percentage.

Sacramento State, in the midst of a four-match homestand, returns to action for two more contests at Colberg Court next week. That includes matchups with Eastern Washington on Thursday and Idaho on Saturday. Both will begin at 7 p.m.

NOTES -- Sacramento State dropped the first set for the 16th time in 19 matches this year…the team is now 1-4 in five-set matches.