Portland State volleyball had another tough weekend on the road, losing matches to Sacramento State and Northern Arizona in what was its last road trip of the season.
The Vikings met the Sac State Hornets on Thursday night and lost a four-game match to them (15-30, 34-32, 25-30 and 22-30). It was the second time the teams have faced off this season, with results similar to the first meeting on Oct. 10.
Sacramento held PSU to a .137 hitting percentage in the match while notching a .228 for themselves. Portland State had 59 kills compared to Sacramento’s 63, a negligible difference. But the Viks had 182 total attacks opposed to the Hornets’ 167.
The main difference in the match was defense, as the offensive numbers would suggest. The Hornets recorded 10 more team blocks than the Viks. Sac State also beat the Vikings in digs, 74-66.
Errors also factored into the loss, with the Viks committing nearly 20 more than the Hornets.
Jessica Vanzant led PSU on offense with 17 kills and a .382 hitting percentage. Richell Wilson and Kathy Garbacz were the other two major contributors, with 15 and 11 kills, respectively. Stephanie Lavigne had 46 set-assists in the match.
The Vikings received significant performances on defense from three players. Sarah Leenders had 17 digs, followed by Kristin Ratzlaff with 16 and Jessica Brodie with 10.
From Sacramento, the Vikings traveled to Flagstaff, Ariz., where they took on the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks also for the second time this season. The Viks lost in five games to NAU (24-30, 30-22, 23-30, 30-24 and 12-15).
The Lumberjacks held PSU to a .180 hitting percentage while claiming a .221 for themselves. They also had 73 kills to the Vikings’ 69. One area where the Vikings trounced NAU was in service aces, with the Viks claiming 10 to the Lumberjack’s three.
Again the glaring difference was in defense. Northern Arizona had 15 team blocks to PSU’s six, and had 10 more block-assists and four more solo blocks. The Lumberjacks also beat the Viks in digs, 86-79.
Wilson led the Vikings with 25 kills. She also claimed her 11th double-double of the season with 12 digs. Other notable offensive performances came from Lisa Thomas and Vanzant, with 12 and 13 kills, respectively.
Lavigne had a good night against the Lumberjacks, recording 42 set-assists, seven kills and a .462 hitting percentage. She also had 10 digs.
Leenders and Ratzlaff had strong defensive performances, with 20 and 23 kills, respectively. Leenders also contributed to the offense with six kills.
The Vikings are now 2-10 in the Big Sky and 13-12 overall, and remain in seventh place in the Big Sky by virtue of alphabetical order. They are tied with Montana, which holds the eight spot. The two teams will meet for the second time this season when the Viks return to the Stott Center on Nov. 13.
The Big Sky tournament begins Thursday, Nov. 20 and runs through the Nov. 22. The number-one team will host the top six teams in the conference, while the two teams at the bottom stay home.