FINAL HOMESTAND FOR VOLLEYBALL WITH POSTSEASON IMPLICATIONS ON TAP
Sacramento State Game Notes (17 pages) - pdf
The Week Ahead
Sacramento State (13-14, 8-8) embarks upon its biggest week of the year when the team plays its final homestand of the season on Friday night vs. Idaho State and Saturday night vs. Weber State. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m., and both outcomes could factor heavily into whether or not the Hornets qualify for this year's Big Sky Tournament.
The top six teams in the 11-member Big Sky qualify for the league's postseason event, and the Hornets currently sit in sixth place with four matches to play. Montana (9-7) is one game ahead of the Hornets in fifth place, and Northern Colorado (7-9) sits one game back of the Hornets in seventh place in what has turned into a three-team race for the final two playoff spots. Both Northern Colorado and Montana currently own the tiebreaker over Sacramento State should there be a two-way tie.
The Hornets do control their own destiny to qualify for the Big Sky Tournament for the second time in three years, and will conclude the regular season next week with road matchups at Montana State and Montana. Northern Colorado will play at Eastern Washington and Portland State this week before concluding with home matches against Southern Utah and Northern Arizona next week. Three of Montana's final four matches will be played on the road, as the lone home contest will come against Sacramento State in the Hornets' regular season finale on Nov. 23.
Fresh off a home win over Weber State on Wednesday night, Idaho State (18-10, 12-5) sits in third place in the league standings and defeated the Hornets in Pocatello earlier this year by a 3-0 score. Sacramento State has dropped four straight to Idaho State dating back to 2011, but does own a 27-9 all-time record against the Bengals. That includes a 14-3 record when playing in Sacramento.
Weber State (7-24, 3-14) has dropped four straight matches entering Saturday night's contest, and is 1-10 on the road. That includes five straight losses away from home. The Hornets defeated the Wildcats in five sets earlier this year in Ogden. Sacramento State is 30-8 all-time against Weber State, including a 16-2 record when playing the Wildcats at Colberg Court.
Like every match the remainder of the season, both Friday and Saturday's contests can be viewed live and free on www.WatchBigSky.com. Viewers just need to create a user name and password through the website, and tune in about 10 minutes before the match begins. Because of scheduling conflicts, there will be no play-by-play voice calling this week's matches, but live stats for both are available by clicking here.
Saturday's contest against Weber State will mark the final home matches in the careers of Hornet seniors Kayla Beal, Hannah Hettinga, Katie Aprile and Chelcy Motes. Each of the four will be honored for their contributions to the program prior to the match. Below are some highlights of each career.
KAYLA BEAL (Dixon, Calif.) -- A fourth-year senior, Beal has played 113 matches, including 99 starts and 428 sets played…joined the 1,000 kills club earlier this year and has career totals of 1,102 kills and 394 total blocks…that breaks down to 2.57 kills and 0.92 blocks per set…has been the team's starting rightside hitter four straight seasons…a second team all-Big Sky selection last year, and a two-time all-tournament selection…has raised her kills per set average every year of her career, including 3.08 this season…has accounted for 1,351.5 career points.
HANNAH HETTINGA (Boise, Idaho) -- The team's lone fifth-year senior, Hettinga has appeared in 112 career matches, including 74 starts and 365 sets played…has started 36 consecutive matches at setter dating back to last season…her 2,574 career assists are the seventh best mark in school history…has raised her assists per set average every year of her career, including 10.03 this season…attempting to become the first Hornet to average at least 10 assists per set since the 2007 season (Rose Burke)…has career numbers of 7.05 assists and 1.88 digs per set to go with a .298 hitting%.
KATIE APRILE (ESCALON, Calif.) -- A fourth-year senior, she has played in 112 matches and 384 sets played…has been asked to play setter, right back and libero during her career…in her first season at libero this season, she is currently seventh in the Big Sky with 3.59 digs per set…has 1,112 career assists and 795 digs, good for averages of 2.90 assists and 2.07 digs per set…has posted double digits in digs on 15 occasions this season, including 20-plus digs six times.
CHELCY MOTES (Thatcher, Ariz.) -- In her second season after transferring from CSU Bakersfield…has played in 43 matches with the Hornets, including 33 starts and 139 sets played…has started all but two matches this season at middle blocker, including a current streak of 14 straight starts…has posted Hornet career averages of 1.07 kills and 0.90 blocks per set…is hitting .363 with averages of 1.32 kills and 1.02 blocks per set this season at home…had a carer-high 10 blocks last year at home vs. Portland State.
Hitting For A High Percentage
Sacramento State's .229 hitting percentage is the fourth best mark in the Big Sky Conference. Moreover, the Hornets have hit better than .226 just two times in the last 17 years. Should Sacramento State finish with a hitting percentage better than .235 this season, it would mark the best mark since the 1995 squad hit for a .259 percentage. The team has already hit better than .300 on seven occasions this year after accomplishing the feat just twice all of last season. Currently, all six of the team's starters are hitting better than .215.
Youth Is Served
Of the team's current starting lineup, outside hitters Sloan Lovett and Morgan Stanley, middle blockers Chelcy Motes and Courtney Dietrich, setter Hannah Hettinga and rightside hitter Kayla Beal, three are underclassmen. That includes two true freshmen in Stanley and Dietrich and a sophomore in Lovett. A total of six underclassmen have started matches this year for Sacramento State, including four freshmen.
Sacramento State is 9-1 when hitting better than .220 in a match, and 4-13 when hitting .220 or below…the Hornets are 9-3 when winning the first set of a match, and 9-1 when winning the second set…senior setter Hannah Hettinga is the only Hornet to start all 27 matches…Sacramento State is 11-4 when rightside hitter Kayla Beal tallies double figures in kills, 10-3 when outside hitter Morgan Stanley has 10 or more kills, and 7-3 when middle blocker Courtney Dietrich accounts for six kills or higher…the team is 5-1 when libero Katie Aprile has 20 or more digs.