Northern Colorado Volleyball Stuns Sacramento State In Five-Game Victory
Oct. 25, 2007
GREELEY, Colo.- Northern Colorado's volleyball team (8-16, 6-5 Big Sky) shocked a red-hot Sacramento State team (21-4, 8-1 Big Sky), who came into the day on a 15-match winning streak, with a five-game victory behind 21 kills from redshirt sophomore Kenzie Shreeve and 20 point-enders from sophomore Allison Raguse on Thursday, Oct. 25 at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion. The win was arguable the best Northern Colorado has garnered since starting the transition period to Division I four years ago and was the first win the team has ever had against Sacramento State in eight tries. The game scores went 31-29, 30-26, 20-30, 30-32, 15-10.
In a complete team effort, Shreeve knocked down a team-high 21 kills and also picked up four digs and three blocks while hitting .254 (21-6-59). Raguse had one of the finest matches of her young career. Besides her 20 kills, Raguse also tallied two service aces, three digs, seven blocks while hitting a match-best .390 (20-4-41). Senior Dulcie Stone provided 14 kills and 19 digs for her 11th double-double of the season. Sophomore Taylor Smith had 12 kills and four blocks in the victory. Freshman Ashley Lichtenberg reached double figures in kills with 10 while also registering six blocks. Junior Lauren Carter set a new career-high with 69 assists and also totaled 13 digs. The Bears totaled five players in double-digits in digs led by a season-best 27 from senior Abby Mayne. Sophomore Breanna VanDerMost chipped in 14 digs for the Bears with freshman Jaclyn Bruns picking up 12.
For the match the Bears hit .239 (79-27-218), which was the team's second highest hitting percentage for the season behind only the .255 they hit against Saint Francis on Aug. 31.
The first game was back-and-forth and saw seven tied scores and four lead changes until Northern Colorado was able to take control for good on a Raguse kill. Raguse led the Bears with five kills. NC was able to get the win due in part to only making four errors in the first set to the Hornets nine miscues.
The second game was another tight one, as their were six tied scores and a lead change, before NC was able to escape with a 30-26 victory. Stone registered two of her three kills in the game on the last three possession. Shreeve was the star of the second game with six kills on a .545 hitting percentage (6-0-11). The Bears had an impressive .319 hitting percentage in the second stanza (20-6-44).
The Bears, after falling behind early in the third game, battled back but just could overcome the early deficit in the 30-20 Hornets win. Shreeve had five kills for NC but Sac State senior Missie Stidham was even more impressive with nine kills and seven digs.
NC was able to regroup in the fourth game and battled throughout despite facing an early deficit. The game saw seven tied scores and four lead changes including one as late as 29-28 by NC, but again Sacramento State was able to withstand in the 32-30 win. Stone led the Northern Colorado effort with six kills.
The Bears built on the late momentum of the fourth game with a strong 6-0 start in the fifth game. The Hornets were able to get as close as two at 10-8, before NC was able to end the game and match on a 5-2 run. Raguse stepped up in the clutch moments for the Bears with five kills in the final stanza.
The Hornets had four players reach double-digits in kills lead by Stidham's 31. The Sacramento State senior also had a match-high 35 digs for 32.5 points.
"Since we moved to Division I this is the biggest win we've had as a program," head coach Lyndsey Benson expressed. "Sacramento State is a legitimate top 25 program and would of have been ranked higher than 27 this week if our conference was getting more national respect. We came into the match with great respect for what Sacramento State had done this year but also with the confidence that they, like the rest of the conference, are beatable on any given night. I thought the key to victory today was that we were steady throughout the entire match. We made some drastic changes defensively to what we would normally do and that made Sacramento State uncomfortable. They are normally a low error team but we knew to have a chance to upset them we going to need to make drastic changes defensively."
Northern Colorado will continue the homestand with the final two regular season home contests against Portland State (11/1) and Eastern Washington (11/3) next week.