Nov. 27, 1999
STOCKTON, Calif. - The Sacramento State Hornets, looking to snag an NCAA at-large bid after losing the Big Sky Conference tournament automatic bid last week, defeated Washington State 15-5, 15-9, 17-15, in the consolation match of the Pacific Community Bankers Classic Tournament at the A. G. Spanos Center Saturday night.
The Cougars end the year at 13-15 overall while Sacramento State, is now 22-9.
WSU's Joy Sperry, playing in her final collegiate match, led all players with 21 kills (.429) and added 11 digs. Sac State's Angela Lewis had 20 kills and Zara Budenbender contributed 16 digs.
Lewis had eight kills and Sacramento State had two unanswered six-point runs to take care of the Cougs in the first game, 15-5. WSU hit .158 while the Hornets banged away at .342.
WSU kept the gap closer in the second game, trailing only 7-9 before giving up three points and the momentum swing to Sacramento State. Lewis pounded another eight kills as the Hornets hit .349 to a much-improved .306 for the Cougs.
With Melissa Wright jump-setting to speed up the WSU offense, the Cougs went ahead in the third game, 7-6 and extended the lead to a score of 10-7. But the Hornets were not to be denied, knotting the score at 11 before going ahead 12-11 on a Lewis service ace. A hitting error by Esther Rogers was followed by Holly and LaToya Harris teaming on a block of Chlebana to put the Cougs up 13-12. After a trio of sideouts, Rogers blocked Wright for the tie at 13. Tasman Dwyer's kill put Sac State in the driver's seat at 14-13, but WSU denied six Hornets tries at game point before a Sperry kill knotted the game at 14. The two teams traded sideouts and points to tie it up again at 15-all. Dwyer's kill gave Sac State the service followed by a double-hit by Wright for the Hornets' 16th point. On Sac State's eighth try at game point, Lewis tagged her 20th kill for the 17-15 win and three-zero match sweep.
"In the third game we played really well and Joy and Adrian (Hankoff) did a great job on the left side," Cougar coach Cindy Fredrick said. "If we could have passed and served, we could have made a good match of it but unfortunately, those things are what let us down when we really needed them. That's a pretty crucial part of the game - passing and serving - those are the things you hope you can say are freshmen jitters. But we have to get over those now: we're not freshmen anymore."
The Cougars ended the match with a .241 hitting percentage while Sac State hit .297 but out-blocked WSU 8.5 to 4. WSU committed ten service errors to Sac State's three.
"When we went to Washington, it seemed like we were building and building and then in the last two weeks we took ten steps backwards," Fredrick said. "We went from thinking our kids were really coming along and getting where they ought to be, to the point of 'what happened to us?' We'll be working on serving and passing all spring."
NCAA Tournament bids will be extended Sunday with the semi's and final Dec. 16 and 18, at Honolulu, Hawaii.
Sacramento State (22-9) def. Washington State (13-15) - 15-5, 15-9, 17-15
KILLS: Sperry (WSU) 21, Lewis (Sac) 20. ASSISTS: Wright (WSU) 47, Rafferty (Sac) 51.
DIGS: Sperry (WSU) 11, Budenbender (Sac) 16. BLOCKS: H. Harris (WSU) 2, Chlebana (Sac) 5.
SERVICE ACES: Wright (WSU ) 1, Sperry (WSU) 1, L. Harris (WSU) 1, Jamtaas (WSU) 1, Rafferty (Sac) 4.