The Sacramento State volleyball squad completed its first week of practice today. The team practiced nine times over a five-day span, including twice a day Monday through Thursday. After Friday morning's practice, hornetsports.com had a chance to speak with head coach Ruben Volta, and get his impressions of the first week of practice. Below are those sound bites.
Q: Are there any specific things you have been pleased with in practice thus far?
A: I'm happy with the improvement the team has shown over the first five days. In particular, our middle blockers have made a lot of progress. We scrimmaged today, and the middles did a very nice job of attacking in a live situation. Overall, the energy level has been very good, and everyone is working hard. A couple players in particular have made big strides in attacking. Kayla Beal and Lauren Aikels have attacked really, really well, and I'd like to think there is some carryover from the sand season in the spring. Sloan Lovett has been attacking well on the outside as well. I've been pretty happy with everybody's attacking in general.
Q: Any surprises during the first week of practice?
A: Our passing. It was an area of concern because we lost our three primary passers from a year ago. But I've been really pleased with numerous players. Regarding the returners, we have players passing better now than they have their entire career. Our new players, who I thought would be good passers, have also done a very nice job.
Q: What has the atmosphere been like in practice?
A: Today, in particular, was a very good day in terms of communication. Players were really encouraging each other. Overall, there has been a lot of good energy, and a lot of communicating well with each other. I like the fact they are pushing each other competitively to do well. (Team co-captains) Hannah Hettinga and Kayla Beal really set a tone as far as hustling after balls and encouraging teammates during the first practice on Monday, and its been contagious with the rest of the team.
Q: Any players that have stood out so far?
A: Kayla Beal's overall game has really stood out. She is viewed as a right side hitter, but has shown huge improvement playing on the left side. She can play on the left, right, back row, and has become a full six-rotation player. Statistically, she has been one of the best passers this week. Chelcy Motes has retained a lot of the training we did in the spring in terms of timing in the middle and has been attacking very well. Lexie Skalbeck had a very good week in terms of passing for a high percentage. Morgan Stanley's all-around game has been impressive. Everyone has shown improvement, and I've been pleased in all areas, especially with our passing.
Q: Talk about the five freshmen and how impressed you have been with them.
A: Their maturity level and competitiveness have been great. They are not timid in the sense that some freshmen come in and keep quiet until they get used to collegiate volleyball. From Day 1, this group came out confident, they communicate, and they aren't afraid to encourage teammates. Collectively, they possess a very mature volleyball demeanor.
Q: What are some things the team will be working on over the final two weeks of practice leading up to the season opener?
A: Consistency, and we just started working on our team offense off serve receive. We've done a lot of skill and timing work in a controlled environment, but now we need to implement that off serve receive and work on the consistency of our attack.
April 8, 2014 VOLLEYBALL RELEASES ITS 2014 SCHEDULE
January 27, 2014 SACRAMENTO STATE EARNS 22 FALL BIG SKY ALL-ACADEMIC HONORS
January 24, 2014 VOLLEYBALL ADDS DIV. I TRANSFER AND LOCAL PRODUCT MADELINE CANNON
November 30, 2013 VOLLEYBALL'S HOME WINNING STREAK NAMED BIG SKY'S 16TH GREATEST MOMENT
November 28, 2013 VOLLEYBALL’S BEAL NAMED SECOND TEAM ALL-BIG SKY
November 23, 2013 VOLLEYBALL LOSES IN FIVE, ELIMINATED FROM BIG SKY TOURNAMENT CONTENTION
November 21, 2013 VOLLEYBALL ONE STEP CLOSER TO PLAYOFF SPOT AFTER WIN AT MONTANA STATE
November 20, 2013 VOLLEYBALL LOOKS TO GRAB PLAYOFF SPOT IN FINAL WEEK OF REGULAR SEASON
November 18, 2013 VOLLEYBALL SIGNS BOYLE, BROWN AND KURTZ TO LETTERS OF INTENT
November 16, 2013 VOLLEYBALL PICKS UP HUGE WIN, CRUSHES WEBER STATE
November 15, 2013 VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO IDAHO STATE, WILL PLAY HOME FINALE TOMORROW
November 14, 2013 FORMER HORNET LINDSAY HAUPT NAMED THE BIG SKY'S 19TH BEST FEMALE ATHLETE
November 14, 2013 FINAL HOMESTAND FOR VOLLEYBALL WITH POSTSEASON IMPLICATIONS ON TAP
November 11, 2013 VOLLEYBALL FALLS AT NORTHERN COLORADO, STILL CLINGS TO A PLAYOFF SPOT
November 9, 2013 VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN THREE AT NORTH DAKOTA
October 31, 2013 WINNING STREAK AT FOUR AS VOLLEYBALL BEATS SOUTHERN UTAH
October 30, 2013 VOLLEYBALL LOOKS TO INCREASE WINNING STREAK THIS WEEK ON THE ROAD
October 26, 2013 HOME COURT KIND AGAIN AS VOLLEYBALL BEATS EASTERN WASHINGTON
October 25, 2013 VOLLEYBALL SECURES HUGE HOME VICTORY OVER PORTLAND STATE
October 23, 2013 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS A PAIR OF LEAGUE MATCHES THIS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
October 19, 2013 VOLLEYBALL HITS SEASON-HIGH .398 IN FOUR-SET WIN OVER MONTANA STATE
October 18, 2013 VOLLEYBALL FALLS AT HOME TO MONTANA
October 12, 2013 VOLLEYBALL NOW 4-4 IN CONFERENCE PLAY AFTER LOSS AT IDAHO STATE
October 11, 2013 VOLLEYBALL PICKS UP FIVE-SET ROAD WIN AT WEBER STATE
October 9, 2013 VOLLEYBALL TRAVELS TO MATCHUPS AT WEBER STATE AND IDAHO STATE
October 3, 2013 VOLLEYBALL WINS FIVE-SET NAIL BITER OVER NORTHERN COLORADO
October 2, 2013 VOLLEYBALL LOOKS TO EXTEND WINNING STREAK THIS WEEK AT HOME
September 28, 2013 VOLLEYBALL DOMINATES SOUTHERN UTAH IN THREE QUICK SETS
September 27, 2013 VOLLEYBALL HITS FOR HIGH PERCENTAGE, DEFEATS NORTHERN ARIZONA
September 26, 2013 VOLLEYBALL BEGINS HOMESTAND WITH MATCHES FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT
September 21, 2013 VOLLEYBALL DROPS BIG SKY MATCHUP AT PORTLAND STATE
September 19, 2013 VOLLEYBALL LOSES FIVE-SET HEARTBREAKER TO EWU IN BIG SKY OPENER
September 18, 2013 VOLLEYBALL OPENS BIG SKY PLAY THURSDAY AT EASTERN WASHINGTON
September 14, 2013 VOLLEYBALL CONCLUDES TOURNAMENT WITH LOSS TO BOISE STATE
September 13, 2013 LOVETT’S 14 KILLS NOT ENOUGH IN VOLLEYBALL’S LOSS TO IDAHO
September 13, 2013 VOLLEYBALL OPENS TOURNAMENT WITH LOSS TO NORTH TEXAS
September 10, 2013 VOLLEYBALL TRAVELS TO UC DAVIS TONIGHT, BOISE STATE LATER THIS WEEK
September 10, 2013 VOLLEYBALL FALLS AT UC DAVIS
September 6, 2013 VOLLEYBALL STUMBLES AT HOME AGAINST SAN JOSE STATE
September 4, 2013 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS 11TH-ANNUAL SACRAMENTO STATE INVITATIONAL
September 2, 2013 LOVETT CAPS BIG WEEK WITH BIG SKY VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
September 1, 2013 LOVETT WITH A HUGE DAY, VOLLEYBALL NOW 3-0 AFTER WIN OVER LA SALLE
August 28, 2013 VOLLEYBALL BEGINS 2013 SEASON ON SATURDAY IN PHILADELPHIA
August 23, 2013 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS ALUMNI MATCH THIS SATURDAY
August 22, 2013 2013 VOLLEYBALL SEASON OUTLOOK