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SACRAMENTO -- Sophomore Bridgette Smith had a career-high 21 kills, and Sacramento State had 13 aces on the way to a 3-2 nail biting win over San Francisco (16-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-21, 15-13) in the second round of the Hornet Volleyball Invitational.
Today was the second day of the four-team tournament and the Hornets are now 2-0 at the season-opening event, which includes a 3-1 win against UC Davis last night. Florida, which is ranked sixth in the nation, is also 2-0 at the tournament after sweeping UC Davis this morning. The Hornets and Florida will conclude the tournament tonight when they square off at 7 p.m. Sacramento State is looking to begin a season 3-0 for the first time since 2016, and seeking to knock off a ranked opponent for the first time since 2007.
Both UC Davis and San Francisco concluded the tournament with an 0-2 record. The teams are only playing two matches during the tournament, while both the Hornets and Florida are playing three.
For the second straight day, Sacramento State finished with 13 aces. That included two in the fifth set. Five different Hornets had multiple aces, comprised of Tiyanane Kamba-Griffin (4), Smith (2), Ashtin Olin (2), Michelle Taynton (2) and McKenna Smith (2). The aces helped as the Hornets were outhit by USF, .235-.204. Sacramento State did have more kills (57-56), aces (13-8), digs (83-77) and blocks (11-4).
The Hornets never trailed in the fifth set, but there were some tense moments. In fact, Sacramento State jumped out to a 7-2 lead and held on late. In fact, USF trailed, 14-11, before running off two straight points to close within, 14-13, but Dons setter Aylen Ayub was called for a double to put the Hornets in the win column.
Bridgette Smith's career-high 21 kills accompanied 12 digs and a pair of aces. Three of those kills came in the fifth set, and she has now posted double-doubles in both matches this season.
Caitlin Volkmann, a sophomore outside hitter, rebounded from a slow start to record 15 kills (one shy of her career high), six digs and a pair of blocks. Kamba-Griffin registered six kills, a .333 hitting percentage and a career-high tying seven blocks. She is now averaging a team-best 1.33 blocks per set through two matches. Freshman Ellie Tisko had five blocks, and middle blocker Cianna Andrews tallied four blocks to go along with four kills.
Libero Michelle Taynton had a team-high 16 digs to go along with six assists and a pair of aces. Setters Olin (28 assists, eight digs, two aces) and McKenna Smith (20 assists, seven digs, two aces) combined for 48 assists, 15 digs and four aces. Kalani Hayes had eight kills and two blocks, and Macey Hayden finished with four digs.
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