The Big Sky Conference has been celebrating the league's success both on and off the playing field by honoring 50 years of men's athletics and 25 years of women's athletics. The 50th anniversary celebrates the all-time individuals, teams and moments in the Big Sky's history, including the selection of the league's "50 Greatest Male Athletes" and the "25 Greatest Female Athletes." Along with these lists, the league will unveil the most memorable moments for both men's and women's competition.
The Sacramento State volleyball squad's 59-home match winning streak against conference competition checks in at No. 16 on the Big Sky's "25 Greatest Women's Moments" list. Amazingly, the Hornets did not lose at home to a Big Sky foe from Oct. 29, 1999 until the streak finally ended on Nov. 2, 2007. That's more than eight years of home domination over Big Sky teams. During that eight-year span, Sacramento State won six Big Sky Tournament championships (2000, 2002-06) and five Big Sky regular season titles (1999-01, 2005-06) while advancing to the NCAA Tournament seven times. Since joining the conference in 1996, the Hornets are 119-24 against Big Sky opponents on the home floor.
Below is a story published on the Big Sky Conference's website....
From Oct. 28, 1999 until Nov. 2, 2007, the Sacramento State volleyball team was hard to beat at home. In fact, the Hornets were impossible to beat at home.
Sacramento State won 59 consecutive home conference matches, and that streak ranks 16th on the Big Sky Conference's "25 Greatest Women's Moments.''
"It is nice to hear," said former longtime Sacramento State head coach Debby Colberg. "I liked playing in the Big Sky. I think the competition was good. I am proud of the kids I coached because they were passionate about how they played. It's a tribute to the players more than anything else."
The streak started in 1999. Sacramento State's last home conference loss was on Oct. 14 when the Hornets lost in five sets to Montana. After that loss, the Hornets finished the season 4-0 at home.
The momentum continued in 2000. Sacramento State went 8-0 in conference home matches, and 12-4 in league play, as no team pushed the Hornets to a fifth set at home.
From 2001-05, Sacramento State went 7-0 each season in home league matches. In 2001 and 2002, there were a couple of close calls, but from 2003-05, Sacramento State beat each conference team it played at home in three or four sets.
In 2006, Sacramento State was 8-0 at home and 15-1 in league play, losing only to Portland State, 3-0, on the road.
"I definitely knew we were tough to beat at home," said Colberg. "The teams that came into our gym had to play well. It was nice to dominate at home because it was very difficult to win on the road in the Big Sky."
The streak ended in 2007. The team opened up conference play by going 4-0 at home before losing on Nov. 2 to Weber State 3-2, which included a fifth set score of 23-21.
"We took nothing for granted during the streak," Colberg said. "We were beatable at home if we didn't play well, and the other team was at the top of their game. Our kids had to come out and play hard to continue the homecourt advantage."