SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento State had large statistical advantages in nearly every category, and limited San Francisco to a .128 hitting percentage on the way to a 3-1 victory (25-18, 21-25, 25-18, 25-14) over the Dons on Tuesday evening inside the Nest.
The win was the fifth in a row for Sacramento State which kicked off the winning streak last week with wins over UC Davis, Bowling Green, Seattle and Northern Kentucky. The Hornets, who were playing just their second home match of the season, improved to 8-5 overall. In addition, the Hornets are now 22-7 all-time against USF in a series that dates back to 1979.
The five-match winning streak is the third longest for the Hornets over the last five years, which includes a 12-match streak in 2015 and nine-match streak last season.
The Dons, who were coming off a five-set home win over Fresno State last Saturday, dropped to 3-7 with the loss. Today's match was the first time the two teams have met since the 2009 season.
The Hornets led the Dons in kills (55-45), hitting percentage (.222-.128), assists (50-39), aces (7-3), digs (79-65) and team blocks (10.0-8.0). Sacramento State's defense averaged a massive 19.75 digs per set as three different Hornets posted better than 15 digs. That included libero Brigitte Murdock (match-high 20), as well as outside hitters Shannon Boyle (19) and Mikaela Nocetti (16). Murdock is currently the Big Sky Conference leader with 4.56 digs per set.
During the winning streak, Sacramento State has limited four of those opponents to hitting percentages below .185.
Setter Kennedy Kurtz had a huge match, accounting for six kills, a perfect 1.000 hitting percentage, 42 assists, three aces, eight digs and four blocks. Nocetti notched her eighth double-double of the season (12 kills, 16 digs, three blocks), rightside hitter Sarah Davis had eight kills and a .381 hitting percentage, and middle blockers Lana Brown (11 kills, three blocks) and Brie Gathright (seven kills, .400 hitting percentage, six blocks) combined for 18 kills and nine blocks.
Kurtz (3), Murdock (2) and Skyler Takeda (2) combined for all seven of the Hornets' aces. Hannah Meadows, who had played in every set this season, did not play tonight because of injury.
For San Francisco, only one player had more than eight kills as Carly Lowry had 12, but hit just .140. Marjolijn Oskam had seven kills, three blocks and a .353 hitting percentage.
Sacramento State returns to action later this week for three matches over three days at a tournament host by Nevada in Reno. The Hornets will play Nevada on Thursday, Pepperdine on Friday and Missouri on Saturday. Sacramento State is back at home next week for its Big Sky Conference opener against Weber State on Thursday at 7 p.m.
NOTE -- Tonight was Pink Night for breast cancer awareness as Hornet players wore pink warmups, and Murdock wore a pink libero jersey.
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