Sept. 8, 2006
(Sacramento) - USF fought off a furious late rally to dispatch Sacramento State 3-2 (30-24, 21-30, 30-23, 23-24, 16-14 in the third match of the 2006 Hornet Invitational Friday afternoon at Hornet Gym. The Dons (6-1) won their fourth straight overall and captured their eighth consecutive five-game victory with the decision against the Hornets (6-4).
Four USF players reached double-digits in kills and four turned in double-double nights, led by freshman outside hitter Anna Berger, who tallied a career-high 18 kills to go along with 14 digs and a pair of aces. Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg added 18 kills and 10 digs, while junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer recorded her third straight double-double 14 kills and 23 digs. Senior setter Jamie Kartchner added her first double-double of the season with 25 assists and a season-high 10 digs.
Sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos had a solid match with a career-high 16 kills and added five blocks (one solo). Sophomore setter Darcy Carroll did a nice job running the offense, dishing out 42 assists as the Dons hit at a .192 clip for the game, including a .400 in the decisive fifth.
USF limited Sacramento State to a .166 attack percentage - including an .020 rate in game three and a .095 in game five. The Dons held a 78-65 kills edge and won the digs battle 102-92, keyed by a strong night from freshman libero Haley Carroll who recorded a career-high 34 - the fourth best single-match tally in program history.
"Overall I am happy with the way we played today," USF head coach Jeff Nelson said. "I thought our defense was outstanding both in the back row and at the net. Our setters did a nice job running the offense and they both made good decisions out there. This was a good win for us against a tough opponent."
San Francisco roared back from a 3-0 deficit in the opening game to seize a 14-9 lead, courtesy of four kills and a service ace from Maurer and extended it to a 19-11 advantage as Berger served four straight points. The Hornets made a late push but the Dons shrugged it off to take a 1-0 lead. USF hit a remarkable .350 in game one with 20 kills and just six errors on 40 attempts. Hasselberg led the way offensively with seven kills in the first frame.
USF led early in game two, 5-4, but the Hornets used a 4-0 run to build a 8-5 lead it would not surrender. The Dons tied the match at14-14, but Sacramento State pulled seized control with a 7-2 run to push the score to 21-16. Berger tallied five kills for San Francisco, who hit a rugged .083 in the second.
San Francisco blew open an 8-6 advantage with a 7-0 run, fueled by four straight kills from Maurer and cruised from there. The Dons led 23-11 and shrugged off a late Hornet rally to take a 2-1 advantage. Maurer finished with seven kills in the third set, while Gombos added four.
Game four was a barnburner. The Dons built a modest 14-11 lead, but Sacramento State motored back to take a 15-14 lead. From there, neither team could manage more than a two point lead. USF led 28-25, but the Hornets stormed back to tie it at 30-30 and went on a 4-2 run to tie the match at two games apiece.
USF put on a blocking clinic in game five in building a 14-6 lead, but had to fight off a furious Hornet rally to secure a 16-14 victory. Sacramento State tied the match at 14-14, but Gombos rallied USF with back-to-back kills to finish it. The Dons hit .400 in the finale, but the blocking set the tone as San Francisco tallied 10 blocks in the set, four from sophomore middle Carly Babin who matched her career-high in the match with 10 (one solo).
San Francisco returns to action in the 2006 Sacramento State Hornet Classic Saturday morning when it takes on UC Riverside. First serve against the Highlanders is set for 9:30 AM at the Hornets Nest.