Game Notes (17 pages) - pdf
The Week Ahead
After posting a 1-2 record at the Sacramento State Invitational over the weekend, the Hornets bring a 5-2 record into one of the busier weeks of the season. Sacramento State will play four times over a five-day span, beginning on Tuesday with a rivalry match at UC Davis before competing in the Courtyard Marriott Bronco Volleyball Classic in Boise, Idaho, on Friday-Saturday.
Tuesday's matchup with UC Davis resumes the Hornets' longest standing rivalry. Sacramento State has played the Aggies 69 times over the years, winning 50 of those meetings. However, UC Davis has won two straight and three of the last five meetings between the two teams after the Hornets had won 12 straight from 1993-2007. Tuesday marks the Aggies' home opener and the match will count towards the Causeway Cup standings presented by ScholarShare.
Sacramento State will then take part in its third tournament in as many weeks, traveling to Boise, Idaho, to take part in the two-day Courtyard Marriott Bronco Volleyball Classic. On Friday, the Hornets will take on both North Texas (9 a.m. PDT) and Idaho (12:30 p.m. PDT), and return on Saturday to face host Boise State at 11:30 a.m. PDT. The Hornets are 4-1 all-time vs. Boise State, 2-0 against Idaho, and have yet to play North Texas.
Both Boise State and UC Davis will be offering live stats of this week's matches. Live stats for Tuesday's matchup can be found by clicking here. Each of the Hornets' three matches at the tournament will have live stat options provided by Boise State. All of the live stat links can be found at the tournament home page by clicking here.
Off To A Nice Start
Sacramento State's 5-2 record is the program's best mark after the first seven matches of the season since the 2007 squad held the same record. That 2007 squad also marks the last Hornet team to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
Nice Start For Lovett
Sophomore Sloan Lovett has been selected to the all-tournament team during each of the Hornets' first two tournaments of the season. The six-rotation outside hitter has come a long way since averaging just 1.25 kills and 0.51 digs per set last season. Among Big Sky leaders, Lovett is second in aces (0.38 per set), third in kills (3.58 per set) and 10th in hitting percentage (.287). In fact, her 93 kills are already 24 more than she had all of last season. The Durango, Colo., native has led or tied for the team lead in kills in five of the last six matches.
Full Rotation Hitters Everywhere
Not very often does a team field a pair of six-rotation outside hitters, and a six-rotation rightside hitter on the floor at the same time. But the Hornets employ that strategy as freshman outside hitter Morgan Stanley and sophomore outside hitter Sloan Lovett, as well as senior rightside hitter Kayla Beal each play all six rotations. The trio, along with setter Hannah Hettinga and middle blocker Chelcy Motes, have started all seven matches thus far.
Dishing Out The Assists
Setter Hannah Hettinga is now first in the Big Sky, and 33rd in the nation with an average of 11.07 assists per set. The fifth-year senior has tallied at least 36 assists in all but one match thus far, and has eclipsed the 50-assist plateau on a pair of occasions. She is also hitting .351 (16-3-37), and has tallied three double-doubles (assists and digs).
Hitting For A High Percentage
Sacramento State's .280 hitting percentage is tops in the Big Sky and the 31st best mark in the nation. The Hornets' attack has been relatively consistent all season, as the team has hit better than .200 in six of seven matches, and going over the .330 mark on three occasions. That includes a season-best .396 hitting percentage against Lafayette where the Hornets had just five errors in 91 total attacks. Sacramento State is 5-0 when hitting .210 or better, and 0-2 when hitting below that mark.
Youth Is Served
Sacramento State has started five underclassmen this year, including four freshmen and a sophomore. The team has started freshman Morgan Stanley and sophomore Sloan Lovett at outside hitter in all seven matches, a freshman has started at middle blocker in all seven matches (Courtney Dietrich or Kendall LaVine), and freshman Lexie Skalbeck started one match at libero.
Serving....The Good And The Bad
Sacramento State is currently first in the Big Sky by a wide margin with 42 service aces and an average of 1.56 per set. The team has recorded at least six aces in four straight matches, including a season-best eight in three sets against San Jose State. However, the Hornets also easily lead the conference with 68 service errors, or 9.7 per match. The only player on the team with a positive service ace-to-error ratio is senior libero Katie Aprile (six aces, four errors).
Limiting The Opposition
The Hornets have held their opponents to a .168 hitting percentage this season, the second best mark in the Big Sky. Five different opponents have failed to hit better than .138, and the Hornets won each of those matches. In Sacramento State's two losses, San Jose State (.374) and Cal Poly (.264) both hit for high marks.