SACRAMENTO — Northern Colorado limited Sacramento State to a .138 hitting percentage, and the Bears remained unbeaten in Big Sky Conference play after beating the Hornets, 3-1 (25-16, 25-19, 19-25, 25-22), on Thursday evening at the Nest.
In a matchup of the top two teams in the Big Sky standings, it was Northern Colorado which remained perfect in league play, improving to 13-6 overall and 7-0 in the conference. The Bears have now won all seven of their Big Sky matchups in either three or four sets.
Sacramento State had its four-game winning streak snapped while falling to 10-11 overall and 5-3 in the Big Sky. The Hornets had entered this evening all alone in second place after winning each of their previous four matches.
The Hornets are at the midway point of their three-game homestead, which began on Tuesday with a three-set sweep of Portland State and ends next Thursday vs. Montana.
Sacramento State also had its five-match winning streak against Northern Colorado snapped. Prior to tonight, the Bears hadn't beaten the Hornets since a win in Greeley on Oct. 16, 2014.
The Hornets were hitting for a negative percentage through two sets as Northern Colorado's serving was constantly throwing Sacramento State out of system. The Hornets did grab some momentum after hitting .438 in their victorious third frame but Northern Colorado limited SAC to a .121 mark in the fourth.
The Bears finished the match hitting .210 and had advantages over Sacramento State in kills (52-41), assists (52-38), aces (8-4) and team blocks (14.0-10.0). Only one dig separated the two teams (NC 48, SAC 47).
For the Hornets, outside hitter Sarah Davis had nearly half the team's kill production as the senior co-captain finished with 20 kills, six digs and a .304 hitting percentage. Davis continues to rank first in the Big Sky in kills per set (4.31) and fourth in the nation in total kills (371).
Outside hitter Macey Hayden had nine kills and seven digs, middle blocker Cianna Andrews five kills and match-high six blocks, and libero Michelle Taynton led the team with 10 digs. Both middle blocker Sarah Falk and rightside hitter Kayla Subbert had three kills and three blocks, and setter Ashtin Olin finished with 30 assists, two aces, seven digs and three blocks.
McKenna Smith added eight digs and Paige Swinney posted four digs.
Three Bears finished with double-figure kills, comprised of Taylor Muff (15 kills, 10 digs), Lauren Hinrichs (11 kills, .476 hit%) and Kailey Jo Ince (10 kills).
The Hornets will now get a rare weekend off, and do not play again until hosting Montana on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. That match against Montana will mark the midway point of the conference season. Sacramento State hosts the Big Sky Tournament on Nov. 28-30.
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