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SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento State held large advantages in kills (57-41), hitting percentage (.257-.137), aces (11-4) and team blocks (13.0-8.0) on the way to a 3-1 victory over Nevada (23-25, 25-18, 25-12, 25-17) in the first round of the Sacramento State Volleyball Invitational at the Nest.
The two-day, four-team tournament kicked off earlier today with Seattle beating UC Riverside in five sets. The Hornets followed with a convincing three-set push after dropping the first set, 23-25. Four more matches will take place inside the Nest tomorrow with the Hornets playing UC Riverside at noon and Seattle at 7:30 p.m. For tournament schedule and information, click here.
Nevada (5-2) had its three-match winning streak snapped while the Hornets improved to 4-5 on the young season. Sacramento State is now 36-12 all-time against the Wolf Pack, including a 21-2 mark when playing inside the Nest.
Neither of the final three sets were close as Sacramento State jumped out to quick sizable leads in the second (10-3), third (10-4) and fourth (5-0) frames. The Wolf Pack hit .200 or less in each of the four sets while being limited to a .137 hitting percentage. Nevada entered the match averaging 13.62 kills per set while hitting .218.
Meanwhile, after hitting .053 in the first set, Sacramento State hit .267, .324 and .400, respectively, over the final three sets. The Hornets finished with season highs in hitting percentage (.257) and team blocks (13.0) while finishing an ace shy of their season best.
"Nevada is a good attacking team, but we were able to serve tough and get them out of system which really helped us," Sacramento State head coach Ruben Volta said. "Offensively, it took us a while to get going, but we got better as the match went on. Our offense really fed off our serving and defense, and tonight was a good way to start the tournament."
Hornet outside hitter Mikaela Nocetti finished with 18 kills, a season-high 19 digs, two aces and a .298 hitting percentage. She was joined in double-figure kills by rightside hitter Cianna Andrews who posted a career-best 13 kills and .435 hitting percentage.
Middle blocker Lana Brown had seven kills, six blocks and a .500 hitting percentage, and has now hit at least .471 in three straight matches to raise her season percentage to .325.
Outside hitter Macey Hayden had eight kills and a .292 hitting percentage, and setter Ashtin Olin was two blocks shy of a triple-double with 43 assists, 10 digs and a season-best eight blocks. Libero Paige Swinney had 15 digs and career-best three aces, and defensive specialist Skyler Takeda added 10 digs and four aces. Takeda's remarkable season from the service line continued as she has a combined 15 aces in her last three matches, and 29 aces overall this season. She is now averaging a massive 0.81 aces per set, the sixth best mark in the nation.
Middle blocker Brie Gathright added a season-best seven blocks.
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