Junior middle hitter Kelsey Elston fired back-to-back kills to finish off Sacramento StateÕs five-set win over UC Davis in nonconference a womenÕs volleyball match at the Pavilion on Tuesday in front of 438 fans.
The Aggies, playing in their home opener, slipped to 5-4 on the year. The Hornets evened their record at 6-6 and gain 10 points in the annual Causeway Cup multi-sport competition between the two schools. Elston finished with 11 kills and a .308 hitting average.
For UCD, senior opposite Melanie Adams overcame a slow start in the first set to post 17 kills, while junior middle Betsy Sedlak hit 13-1-22 for a .545 efficiency rate to go with seven blocks at the net. Senior libero Kayla Varney scooped up 27 digs and freshman setter Jenny Woolway added 22. As a team, UCD tallied 14 blocks and did not surrender a single ace.
Sacramento State overcame a 16-10 deficit in the opening set, as Janelle Currey posted two kills and a block assist to help the Hornets score eight of the next 10 points and take a 19-18 lead. UCD eventually reclaimed the lead at 21-20 on a Sedlak kill, but Currey answered with the equalizer.
Sedlak struck again to even the score to 22, but Sac State won three of the last five points to close out the first-set win.
In the second frame, UCD crawled back from an early 11-7 deficit to take a 16-15 lead. Aggie freshman Morgan Borch supplied kills to hold her teamÕs one-point advantage, then a Varney ace and two Adams kills pushed UCD up 22-19.
But Hornet middle Olivia Moss and setter Anna Schoener teamed up on consecutive blocks to help Sac State score five unanswered down the stretch. Moss and Currey then combined on a block for the winner, sending the Hornets to the break with a 2-0 lead.
Adams hit an errorless 6-for-10 in the third game as UCD broke loose from a 9-9 tie. Borch had two kills during the middle portion to lift the Aggies to a 16-10 edge, then Adams scored two kills and a block to bump the lead to 22-14. Junior middle blocker Katie Denny added a block assist and a kill to establish set point, with Allison WhitsonÕs kill preventing the Hornet sweep.
In the fourth, Sedlak had a solo stuff, a block assist and two kills during a 9-0 UCD run that transformed a tight 11-10 advantage into a 20-10 lead.
The Hornets managed to pull to within six as Erin Kirby twice tooled the Aggie block, sending the tally to 22-16. However, UCD scored three straight to close the frame and force the fifth set. Borch and Sedlak were a combined 9-for-12 with no errors in that game.
Neither team managed more than a one-point lead for most of the fifth set as the game featured 12 ties. Sac State freshman Kayla Beal sent a shot down the line to give the Hornets a 13-12 lead, but then hit her next attempt into the antenna to even the tally at 13-all. However, Elston converted a side out on a tip for match point, then clipped a shot off the UCD block for the winner.
Varney, whose 27 digs eclipses her previous career high of 23 during her freshman year, had eight digs in the finale. As a team, UCD picked up 102 digs in five sets of play.
The Aggies remain at home to host the Aggie Invitational on Friday and Saturday. Oregon State, Portland, Nevada and Cal Poly will be in town for the tournament.