Idaho State University Sports Information
POCATELLO, Idaho – The Idaho State volleyball team battled visiting Sacramento State before falling 3-2. The Bengals overcame a 2-0 match deficit to force five sets against the regular-season Big Sky champions before falling 25-22, 25-20, 15-25, 23-25 and 15-11.
The Bengals were led by senior outside hitter Chloe Hirst who finished with a team-high 19 kills to go along with 19 digs for her 12th double-double of the season. Abby Garrity also finished with double-figure kills with 17 to go along with 10 digs for her ninth double-double of the season. Haylie Keck added a match-high 33 digs while Ashlyn Van Every added a career-high tying seven kills to go along with 38 assists, a career-high tying 13 digs and a career-high tying six block assists.
“I’m proud of the effort,” Head Coach Rick Reynolds said. “Sac came out obviously to play. They had 35 kills in the first two sets, and we knew we were in for an offensive war with them.”
Sacramento State (23-8, 14-1 BSC) took the first two sets 25-22 and 25-20 finishing with 35 kills as a squad. In the second set, the Hornets swung high and hard connecting for 18 kills hitting at a .405 clip. Yet Idaho State (11-17, 8-7 BSC) fired back, hitting .424 in the second set for 17 kills. Despite ISU offensive strength, Sac State never trailed and cruised to the 25-20 second set win.
In the third set, the Bengals were nearly perfect defensively, digging 28 of Sac’s 46 attempts and forcing the Hornets in to six hitting errors while finishing with 4.0 team blocks. Garrity led the Bengals in the third with four kills while senior outside hitter Marissa Dance came up big with three kills off five attempts with no errors to hit .600. After breaking a 2-all tie in the beginning of the set, ISU never trailed the remainder of the set and cruised to the 25-15 third set win.
The Bengals carried their momentum into the fourth, this time connecting for 16 kills off 39 swings with just two errors to his .359. However, Sacramento State responded, forcing 10 ties and two lead changes in the fourth set alone. Late in the set with the score tied 22-all, a Sac State attacking error gave the Bengals the edge. Then, a kill from Hirst and another from middle blocker Taylor Meeks put the Hornets away, 25-22.
Idaho State cooled off just enough in the fifth set to clear a path for Sac State, as the Bengals finished with just six kills hitting .077 to Sac’s nine kills hitting .179. ISU started the set with three unanswered points and held the lead until a 4-0 Sac State run put the Hornets up 8-6. The Bengals responded with a 3-0 run of their own to take the lead once more 9-8, but Sacramento State finished on a 7-2 run to claim the 15-11 fifth set win and 3-2 match win.
“In the fifth set, we started the way we thought we could,” Reynolds said. “We had a big block early, and I had mentioned to the girls that if we could get two big blocks I thought it might change the flow of the game. We got one right at the beginning of the set, and unfortunately the other one eluded us a little bit. Hats off to Sac; they put some kills down and serve-received a bit better in that last set than they had been up until that point, and their offense came alive a little bit when it mattered.”
Sac State was led by Mikaela Nocetti with a match-high 20 kills while three other Hornets added double-figure kills: Sarah Davis with 11 and Brie Gathright and Lana Brown each with 10. Kennedy Kurtz finished with a match-high 56 assists while Brigitte Murdock added a team-high 27 digs.
Idaho State closes regular-season play Saturday, Nov. 11 against Portland State at 7 p.m. in Reed Gym.