VOLLEYBALL LOSES ROAD MATCH AT FIRST-PLACE IDAHO STATE

VOLLEYBALL LOSES ROAD MATCH AT FIRST-PLACE IDAHO STATE

POCATELLO, Idaho -- Sacramento State's Sloan Lovett had 11 kills and Lexie Skalbeck a match-best 20 digs but it was not enough in the Hornets' 3-0 loss (25-19, 25-22, 25-18) to Idaho State in a Big Sky Conference volleyball matchup Saturday evening at Reed Gym.

The loss dropped the Hornets to 7-22 overall and 2-12 in the Big Sky while Idaho State improved its record to 19-8 and 13-1 in the conference. The Bengals, who will likely win this year's Big Sky regular season title, won their ninth straight match. Idaho State swept the season series, and has now won seven straight meetings against Sacramento State dating back to 2011.

The loss also eliminated Sacramento State from Big Sky Tournament contention with just two matches remaining on the regular season schedule. The top eight teams in the 12-member league qualify for the league's postseason event, and the Hornets will not be one of those eight squads. Tonight also marked the final road match of the year for Sacramento State as the program will play its final two matches next week at home against Northern Arizona on Thursday and Southern Utah on Saturday.

The Hornets trailed just, 20-17, in the first set, and 21-19 in the second set but could not get over the hump against an ISU defense that limited Sacramento State to a .115 hitting percentage. The Hornets did not hit better than .143 in any of the three sets, and didn't help their cause with just one ace compared to 10 service errors.

Idaho State failed to hit for a high percentage (.194), but had six more kills (38-32), five more aces (6-1), four more digs (46-42), and one more team block (6.0-5.0) than the Hornets. That included a dominant match from junior middle blocker Makenzie Filer who posted match highs in kills (13) and blocks (6) while hitting for a high percentage (.545). Filer also went off against the Hornets in Sacramento earlier this season with 16 kills, 10 blocks and a .429 hitting percentage in that match.

For the Hornets, Lovett's 11 kills came with a .259 hitting percentage as the junior outside hitter now has double figures in kills in four straight and 15 of the last 20 matches. Junior Lauren Kissell added 10 kills, and setter Kennedy Kurtz had four kills, 26 assists, six digs and a match-high .571 hitting percentage. Lovett and Kissell were the only Sacramento State players with more than four kills.

Defensively, Skalbeck's 20 digs were 10 more than any other player on the floor as she posted at least 20 digs for the third time in her last four matches. Courtney Dietrich finished with three blocks and Madeline Cannon had a pair of blocks.

Both home matches next week against Northern Arizona and Southern Utah will begin at 7 p.m.