Sacramento State Full Release (20 pages) - pdf
The Week Ahead
After four weeks of non-conference play, Sacramento State will begin the Big Sky Conference portion of the season this week on the road against Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. The Hornets will travel to Cedar City, Utah, to play the Thunderbirds on Thursday at 6 p.m. PDT, and make the trek to Flagstaff, Ariz., to take on Northern Arizona on Saturday at noon PDT.
The Hornets will bring a 5-10 record into Thursday's matchup after going 1-2 at last weekends' Crusader Invitational in Valparaiso, Ind. Sacramento State's 3-1 victory over Murray State on Saturday evening snapped a four-match losing streak.
Sacramento State, which has dealt with injuries to starting outside hitters Sloan Lovett and Morgan Stanley, will have played 13 of its first 17 matches away from home by the time this week concludes. In fact, this week's matchups will bring closure to a season-long five-match road trip. The Hornets will finally get some love from the schedule makers next week when they begis a stretch of four straight and five of six matches at home.
Previously an 11-member league, the Big Sky Conference expanded to 12 teams this year with the addition of the University of Idaho. The league is now split into a pair of six-team divisions. Sacramento State is in the South Division with Idaho State, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Southern Utah and Weber State. The top eight teams with the best conference record regardless of division at the end of the regular season will qualify for this year's Big Sky Tournament.
Like every match the rest of the season, fans will be able to watch a free live video stream on both Thursday and Saturday via WatchBigSky.com. All home matches will be streamed in HD, but most road matches will be streamed in SD. Users just need to sign up for a free account through the website and video the remainder of the season is free. 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
Southern Utah looks to be one of the most improved teams in the Big Sky. One season after finishing 4-27 overall and 3-17 in the conference, the Thunderbirds have already easily eclipsed their win total from a year ago, and enter the week with a 7-3 record. Southern Utah leads the Big sky in opponents hitting percentage (.096) and ranks second in team hitting percentage (.254). Sacramento State is 3-1 all-time against Southern Utah, which joined the Big Sky in 2012. That includes three straight wins, and a season sweep of the T-Birds last year.
Northern Arizona enters the week with a 9-2 record. The Lumberjacks began the year on a nine-match winning streak before dropping a pair of three-set decisions at Hawai'i last weekend. NAU leads the Big Sky in hitting percentage (.258), kills (13.42 per set) and assists (12.58 per set). Sacramento State is 31-12 all-time against the Lumberjacks, but NAU has won each of the last four meetings in Flagstaff. The Hornets' last road win against Northern Arizona came via three-set sweep on Sept. 25, 2009.
500th Div. I Victory Within Reach
Sacramento State is just two wins shy of its 500th win since joining the Div. I ranks in 1991. The Hornets are 498-289 (.633 winning percentage) in Div. I play, and 918-407 (.693) overall. Arguably the most storied program in Sacramento State athletics history, the volleyball team has accounted for two national championships, 20 NCAA Tournament appearances, 27 All-Americans, 18 conference championships and 10 NCAA Div. I Tournament appearances. That includes a streak of 11 straight Big Sky titles from 1997-07.
Hornet In Big Sky Openers
Since joining the Big Sky Conference in 1996, the Hornets are 13-5 in conference-opening matches, and 2-3 when opening the Big Sky season on the road. The Hornets opened the league season on the road last year at Eastern Washington and fell in five sets.
Overcoming First Set Setbacks
Amazingly, of the Hornets' five victories this season, four have come after dropping the first set. By comparison, Sacramento State won four matches all of last season after losing the first set. Still, the Hornets need to do a better job of starting matches as the team has lost the first frame in 13 of 15 matches this year.
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.
When determining a win or loss for Sacramento State, the team's hitting percentage has been a big factor. When the Hornets hit at least .200, they are 4-0, and when failing to hit that .200 mark, the team is just 1-10. Sacramento State's only victory when failing to reach the .200 mark came in Saturday's 3-1 win over Murray State when the team hit .159.
Junior outside hitter Sloan Lovett missed the UC Davis and George Washington matches with an ankle injury, but returned to play both matches Saturday against Valparaiso and Murray State…sophomore outside hitter Morgan Stanley, who is usually a full rotation outside hitter, has been limited to playing back row in four of the last seven matches because of injury…among Big Sky leaders, sophomore middle blocker Courtney Dietrich has moved up to second in the league in blocks (1.15 bps) after combining for 16 blocks in her last two matches.
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