SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento State volleyball team was selected to finish eighth among 12 teams in the Big Sky Conference's preseason coaches poll today.
Previously an 11-member league, the Big Sky will expand to 12 teams this year with the addition of the University of Idaho. The league will now split into a pair of six-team divisions. Teams will play other teams in their own division twice, and every team in the other division once (three at home, three on the road).
The top eight teams with the best conference records regardless of division will qualify for the Big Sky's postseason tournament. In years past, only six teams qualified. The tournament host and No. 1 seed will go to the team with the best conference record while the No. 2 seed will be the first-place team from the other division.
In the South Division, Sacramento State will join Idaho State, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Southern Utah and Weber State. The North Division will be comprised of Eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, Montana State, North Dakota and Northern Colorado.
Idaho State and Northern Arizona were selected as preseason co-favorites in the poll as both teams garnered 108 points and four first-place votes. They were followed by Idaho (95 points, two first-place votes), North Dakota (92 points, two first-place votes), Northern Colorado (86), Portland State (84), Eastern Washington (60), Sacramento State (49), Montana (35), Montana State (33), Weber State (26) and Southern Utah (16).
North Dakota and Portland State were co-regular season champions last season while Idaho State won the Big Sky Tournament and earned the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Sacramento State finished the 2013 season with a 15-16 overall record and a 10-10 conference mark. The Hornets tied for sixth place with Northern Colorado in the final league standings, and the Bears earned the tiebreaker to grab the sixth and final spot into the Big Sky Tournament.
Sacramento State returns six players, including three starters, from last season's team. Among those returners are the potent outside hitter combination of junior Sloan Lovett and sophomore Morgan Stanley. Lovett led the Hornets in kills (361), kills per set (3.25), attempts (936), points (407.5), and points per set (3.67) last season while Stanley was tied for second on the squad in kills (313), and third in digs (227), aces (27) and total points (362.0).
Sophomore middle blocker Courtney Dietrich returns after a freshman season in which she started 25 matches and finished with averages of 1.40 kills and 0.80 blocks per set. Also returning are junior outside hitter Lauren Aikels (1.58 kps), sophomore middle blocker Kendall LaVine (0.62 bps) and sophomore defensive specialist Lexie Skalbeck (1.52 dps).
Sacramento State, which began practicing last Saturday, opens the season in Charlotte for a two-day, four-match tournament on Aug. 29-30.
Team - Points (First Place Votes)
T1. Idaho State - 108 (4)
T1. Northern Arizona - 108 (4)
3. Idaho - 95 (2)
4. North Dakota - 92 (2)
5. Northern Colorado - 86
6. Portland State - 84
7. Eastern Washington - 60
8. Sacramento State - 49
9. Montana - 35
10. Montana State - 33
11. Weber State - 26
12. Southern Utah - 16
February 24, 2015 AVEN LEE HIRED AS ASSISTANT VOLLEYBALL COACH
February 3, 2015 TASMAN DWYER TO BE INDUCTED INTO HORNET VOLLEYBALL HALL OF FAME
January 28, 2015 HORNET STUDENT-ATHLETES TOTAL 33 FALL BIG SKY ALL-ACADEMIC HONORS
November 15, 2014 VOLLEYBALL FINISHES SEASON WITH FIVE-SET HOME LOSS TO SOUTHERN UTAH
November 13, 2014 VOLLEYBALL WINS, EXTENDS HOMECOURT DOMINANCE OF NORTHERN ARIZONA
November 12, 2014 VOLLEYBALL CLOSES 2014 SEASON THIS WEEK AT HOME
November 8, 2014 VOLLEYBALL LOSES ROAD MATCH AT FIRST-PLACE IDAHO STATE
November 6, 2014 VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN FIVE SETS AT WEBER STATE
November 5, 2014 VOLLEYBALL GETS SET FOR FINAL REGULAR SEASON ROAD TRIP
November 1, 2014 VOLLEYBALL POSTS COMEBACK 3-2 VICTORY AT PORTLAND STATE
October 30, 2014 VOLLEYBALL DROPS FOUR-SET GRINDER TO FIRST-PLACE NORTH DAKOTA
October 25, 2014 VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN FOUR SETS AT MONTANA
October 24, 2014 VOLLEYBALL BACK ON WINNING TRACK, SWEEPS ROAD MATCH AT MONTANA STATE
October 22, 2014 VOLLEYBALL TRAVELS TO MONTANA FOR A PAIR OF MATCHES
October 18, 2014 VOLLEYBALL DROPS HOME MATCH TO PORTLAND STATE
October 16, 2014 VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN THREE SETS AT NORTHERN COLORADO
October 15, 2014 VOLLEYBALL PLAYS TWICE THIS WEEK; HOME MATCH ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON
October 11, 2014 VOLLEYBALL DROPS HOME MATCH TO IDAHO
October 9, 2014 VOLLEYBALL LOSES TO EASTERN WASHINGTON, FALLS IN FIVE SETS AGAIN
October 7, 2014 VOLLEYBALL CONCLUDES HOMESTAND THURSDAY AND SATURDAY
October 4, 2014 VOLLEYBALL LOSES ANOTHER HEARTBREAKER, THIS TIME TO WEBER STATE
October 2, 2014 VOLLEYBALL FIGHTS BACK BUT FALLS AT HOME TO IDAHO STATE, 3-1
September 30, 2014 VOLLEYBALL BEGINS HOMESTAND THURSDAY VS. IDAHO STATE
September 27, 2014 VOLLEYBALL FALLS AT NORTHERN ARIZONA
September 26, 2014 SACRAMENTO STATE WOMEN’S ATHLETICS TO HOST OKTOBERFEST ON OCT. 4
September 25, 2014 VOLLEYBALL LETS THREE MATCH POINTS SLIP AWAY IN 3-2 LOSS AT SOUTHERN UTAH
September 23, 2014 VOLLEYBALL OPENS CONFERENCE PLAY THIS WEEK ON THE ROAD
September 20, 2014 VOLLEYBALL SPLITS FINAL TWO MATCHES AT VALPARAISO TOURNAMENT
September 19, 2014 VOLLEYBALL DROPS FIRST MATCH OF TOURNAMENT TO GEORGE WASHINGTON
September 16, 2014 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS UC DAVIS TONIGHT AT 7 P.M.
September 16, 2014 SHORT-HANDED VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO UC DAVIS IN FIVE-SET GRINDER
September 13, 2014 VOLLEYBALL BEATS BAKERSFIELD, WILL PLAY FOR TOURNEY TITLE TONIGHT
September 13, 2014 VOLLEYBALL CONCLUDES TOURNEY WITH 2-1 RECORD AFTER LOSS AT CAL POLY
September 12, 2014 VOLLEYBALL OPENS TOURNAMENT WITH 3-2 WIN OVER SAN JOSE STATE
September 9, 2014 VOLLEYBALL PLAYS AT NEVADA, TRAVELS TO CAL POLY TOURNEY
September 9, 2014 VOLLEYBALL DROPS ROAD MATCH AT NEVADA
September 6, 2014 VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO LOYOLA MARYMOUNT IN THREE SETS
September 6, 2014 VOLLEYBALL CONCLUDES TOURNAMENT WITH LOSS TO UC SANTA BARBARA
September 5, 2014 VOLLEYBALL DROPS ITS HOME OPENER TO FRESNO STATE, 3-2
September 2, 2014 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS 12TH-ANNUAL SACRAMENTO STATE INVITATIONAL THIS WEEK
August 30, 2014 VOLLEYBALL DROPS NAIL BITER TO MORGAN STATE
August 29, 2014 VOLLEYBALL DROPS SEASON OPENER TO UNCG
August 29, 2014 VOLLEYBALL BOUNCES BACK WITH 3-1 VICTORY OVER ETSU
August 26, 2014 VOLLEYBALL OPENS SEASON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY IN CHARLOTTE
August 25, 2014 2014 VOLLEYBALL SEASON OUTLOOK
August 22, 2014 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS ALUMNI MATCH ON SATURDAY AT 5 P.M.
August 18, 2014 VOLLEYBALL ADDS ALL-STATE OUTSIDE HITTER LAUREN KISSELL
August 12, 2014 VOLLEYBALL TABBED EIGHTH IN THE BIG SKY PRESEASON POLL
April 16, 2014 VOLLEYBALL RELEASES ITS 2014 SCHEDULE