Sacramento State Game Notes (20 pages) - pdf

The Week Ahead

    After a tough week that included the team going 0-3 at the Sacramento State Invitational, the Hornets look to get back on track with four matches this week. The first of which comes Tuesday at Nevada in a match that begins at 6:30 p.m. Sacramento State will then travel to San Luis Obispo for the Cal Poly ShareSlo Tournament. The two-day, four-team tournament will see the Hornets play San Jose State on Friday at 5 p.m., and on Saturday the team will take on both CSU Bakersfield (10 a.m.) and host Cal Poly (7 p.m.).    
    Tuesday begins a stretch that will see the Hornets play nine of their next 10 matches away from home. In fact, the only match inside the friendly confines the rest of the month will take place against UC Davis on Sept. 16. Sacramento State will have a season-long four-match homestand that lasts from Oct. 2-11 and coincides with the second and third weeks of conference play.

Multimedia Options
Nevada is offering free live video on Tuesday via Mountain West Conference TV by clicking here. Cal Poly is offering free live audio of its match against Sacramento State on Saturday by clicking here. Live stats for all matches will be made available by both Nevada and Cal Poly's websites. Links for all multimedia options (video, audio, live stats) can be accessed on the volleyball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.

A Look At This Week's Opponents
    Nevada will enter Tuesday's match with a 2-1 record, and will serve as the team's home opener. The Wolf Pack defeated both Oral Roberts and South Alabama while losing to Pepperdine last week in five sets at a tournament in Malibu, Calif. The Hornets are 33-10 all-time against the Wolf Pack, and have won the last two meetings. The last Nevada win in the series came in a three-set sweep in Reno.
    San Jose State enters the week with an 0-6 record and has been swept in four of those six matches. The Spartans lost to Portland and UC Davis at the Aggie Invitational over the weekend. The Hornets leads the all-time series, 8-7, and have won three of the last four meetings. This will be the teams' first match on a neutral floor since the 2001 season.
    CSU Bakersfield enters the week with a 2-5 record. After winning its first two matches, the Runners have dropped five straight. Three of those losses came over the weekend at a tournament hosted by Dayton. The Hornets lead the all-time series, 15-6. In the teams' last meeting in 2010, Sacramento State posted a three-set neutral site win that snapped a five-match losing streak against the Runners.
    Cal Poly, which hosts this weekend's tournament, enters the week with a 1-4 record and a four-match losing streak. However, all four of those losses came to tough competition against Wyoming, Washington State, Utah and Saint Mary's. The Mustangs lead the all-time series, 8-6, and defeated the Hornets last season in five sets at the Sacramento State Invitational.

As Young As A Roster Could Get
Of the 16 players on Sacramento State's roster, 10 are new to the program, including a school-record eight freshmen. Moreover, the roster includes no seniors, and of the squad's 16 players, only three are upperclassmen in junior outside hitters Lauren Aikels, Lauren Kissell and team captain Sloan Lovett. The six returning players are comprised of two juniors and four sophomores. In fact, on a number of occasions this year, the Hornets have used a lineup consisting of all underclassmen.

For Starters
Nine different Hornets have started at least one match this season. The only constants in the starting lineup have been outside hitters Sloan Lovett and Morgan Stanley, middle blocker Madeline Cannon and setter Kennedy Kurtz. Other starters have includes Shannon Boyle (twice on the right side), Courtney Dietrich (six times in the middle), Kendall LaVine (four times on the right side), Lana Brown (once in the middle) and Brigitte Murdock (once at DS). Among those nine different starters include one junior, four sophomores and four freshmen.

The Road Bump
With a roster full of young players, road bumps are to be expected. The first big road bump came midway through the fourth set against Fresno State on Friday night. The Hornets won two of the first three sets, and looked to be in control with an 11-8 lead in the fourth frame. However, Fresno State finished the set on a 17-5 run and then defeated the Hornets, 15-3, in the fifth and final set. During the team's next two matches against Loyola Marymount and UC Santa Barbara, respectively, the team failed to score more than 21 points in any of the six sets during those matches.

Freshman setter Kennedy Kurtz has 19 kills with just three errors in 39 attacks, good for a team-best .410 hitting percentage…middle blocker Courtney Dietrich has recorded blocks in every match this year and in 27 straight matches dating back to last season…sophomore Morgan Stanley combined for 40 kills against Charlotte (24) and Fresno State (16), but has a combined 32 kills in the Hornets' other five matches…during her career, middle blocker Kendall LaVine is averaging one ace every 12.7 serves…sophomore Madeline Cannon, who hit .538 vs. UNCG and .438 against ETSU, owns the Hornets' second best hitting percentage at .286…Sloan Lovett and Stanley have both recorded double figures in kills on three occasions…head coach Ruben Volta is just 13 wins shy of recording his 100th career victory.