VOLLEYBALL’S SIX-GAME WINNING STREAK COMES TO AN END IN LOSS AT NORTHERN ARIZONA



FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Sacramento State was limited to a .156 hitting percentage as Northern Arizona defeated the Hornets, 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-20), on Saturday evening at the Rolle Activity Center.

The Hornets’ six-game winning streak comes to an end and the team suffered its first loss since Oct. 16. The six-gamer was the longest streak since the 2017 team won seven straight. Sacramento State saw its record fall to 14-11 overall and 8-6 in the Big Sky Conference. Today also served as the Hornets’ final regular season road game of the season.

Northern Arizona, which improved to 11-12 and 9-5 in league play, is the only Big Sky team to have defeated Sacramento State twice this season. That included a three-set win at the Nest on Oct. 7. Flagstaff has been a tough place for the Hornets over the years as Sacramento State has dropped 12 of the last 13 on NAU’s home floor. Overall, Sacramento State is 11-19 all-time in the high elevation of Flagstaff.

With just two matches left on the regular season schedule – both at home next week – the Hornets slipped from a fourth-place tie in the Big Sky standings all the way down to sixth. Montana State and NAU opened the day in a three-way tie for fourth with Sacramento State, and Montana State was victorious earlier this afternoon. The Big Sky Tournament, which will take place Nov. 18-20 in Ogden, Utah, will feature the top eight teams in the 11-member league. Sacramento State has already clinched a spot regardless of what happens next week.

The Hornets had 10 more kills than the Lumberjacks (45-35), but committed 24 errors and hit .156. Conversely, Northern Arizona had just seven errors in 111 swings, good for a .252 percentage. Sacramento State also had four more digs (60-56) than NAU, but four less service aces (7-3). Sacramento State had three team blocks, its second lowest output of the season.

The Hornets were led by outside hitter Bridgette Smith’s 11 kills and 13 digs, while libero Caty Cordano led all players with 22 digs. Outside hitter Macey Hayden chipped in nine kills and 12 digs, middle blocker Cianna Andrews finished with seven kills and a .312 hitting percentage, and Kalani Hayes had eight kills and a block. Hayden (2) was the only Hornet to finish with more than one block.

Setters Ashtin Olin (20 ast, 3 digs) and McKenna Smith (19 ast, 6 digs) combined for 39 of the Hornets’ 41 assists. Rightside hitters Tiyanane Kamba-Griffin (6) and Caitlin Volkmann (4) combined for 10 kills.

Sacramento State will play twice at home next week, including Thursday vs. Montana at 7 p.m., and Saturday vs. Montana State at 1 p.m. Saturday will be Senior Day and five Hornet seniors – Andrews, Hayden, Sarah Falk, Michelle Taynton and Claudia Wilson – will be honored prior to the game for their contributions to the program.



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