VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN FOUR SETS AT IDAHO STATE

VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN FOUR SETS AT IDAHO STATE

Big Sky Conference standings

POCATELLO, Idaho — Despite a combined 42 kills from outside hitters Mikaela Nocetti and Sarah Davis, Sacramento State fell at Idaho State, 3-1 (18-25, 27-25, 25-18, 25-20), on Saturday evening at Reed Gym.

The Hornets won the first set with relative ease and had set points at 24-23 and 25-24 of the second set, but could not break through and grab a 2-0 lead. In fact, the Bengals saved both set points and eventually ran off three straight points to take the set and tie things at 1-1. That seemed to give Idaho State all the momentum it would need as the Bengals quickly got past the Hornes in the third, and used an 18-7 run to finish off the fourth frame and the match.

Idaho State hit .331 , the second highest mark allowed by Sacramento State this season. The Bengals had 65 kills with just 15 errors in 151 attacks. Sacramento State also hit proficiently (.274, 62-19-157), but Idaho State had 13 more digs (68-55) and won all the big points in what turned out to be a very important second set.

The victory allowed Idaho State (17-12, 11-5) to win its fifth straight and leapfrog Sacramento State (15-15, 10-6) in the Big Sky Conference standings. With just two conference matches left in the regular season, the Hornets have fallen to fifth place, but sit just one back of third.

Idaho remains in first with a 14-2 league mark, followed by Northern Arizona (13-3), Weber State (11-5), Idaho State (11-5), the Hornets (10-6) and Northern Colorado (9-7) to round out the top six. Should Sacramento State finish tied in the standings with Weber State or Idaho State, the Hornets would own the tiebreaker over both teams. The top eight teams qualify for the Big Sky Tournament, which begins on Thanksgiving Day.

Sacramento State had won six straight over Idaho State prior to tonight's loss, which included a three-set sweep of the Bengals earlier this year inside the Nest.

Nocetti, who missed Thursday's match with injury, was back in the starting lineup tonight and played incredible all evening. The senior outside hitter tied her career high with 23 kills while hitting .352 with 10 digs and an ace. Davis set a career high with 19 kills while also adding five digs and a pair of blacks. Davis' previous career high was 17 kills, set earlier this season at Montana State. The pair combined for 42 of Sacramento State's 62 kills.

Rightside hitter Cianna Andrews had nine kills and four blocks, middle blocker Brie Gathright had six kills, five blocks and a .429 hitting percentage, and middle Lana Brown had four kills and five blocks. Setter Ashtin Olin had three of the Hornets' four aces while also tallying 54 assists, 11 digs and three blocks.

Libero Paige Swinney led all players with 21 digs and notched her sixth match with at least 20 digs this season. Skyler Takeda added five digs. Sacramento State had 10.0 team blocks to just 6.0 for Idaho State.

The Bengals were led by Abby Garrity's 24 kills, 17 digs and .311 hitting percentage. It was a Garrity kill that saved the 24-23 set point, and she tacked on another kill to give the Bengals a 26-25 lead in the decisive second frame.

Sacramento State's final two regular season matches will come on Tuesday at Portland State, and on Saturday at home vs. Northern Colorado. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday is Senior Night, as Hornet seniors Brown, Gathright, Nocetti and Takeda will be honored prior to the match.