SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State head volleyball coach Ruben Volta announced the program's 2016 schedule today.
The schedule includes 30 regular-season matches, comprised of 12 at home, 13 on the road and five at neutral sites. The team's season opener will take place Aug. 26 vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff when the Hornets begin a two-day, three-match tournament in Arlington, Texas.
Sacramento State's home opener is Tuesday, Sept. 13, vs. UC Davis at 7 p.m. The Hornets will also host the 14th-annual Sacramento State Invitational on Friday-Saturday, Sept. 16-17. The Hornets will play three matches during the two-day tournament, including Nevada on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m., followed by a pair of matches on Sept. 17 vs. Grand Canyon (12 p.m.) and Cal Poly (7:30 p.m.).
For the third straight season, Sacramento State will play 16 Big Sky Conference matches. The league consists of a pair of six-team divisions with each squad playing an unbalanced schedule.
The Hornets play twice against fellow divisional foes Portland State, Southern Utah, Northern Arizona, Idaho State and Weber State, and once against the six teams from the other division (Eastern Washington, Idaho, Northern Colorado, Montana, Montana State and North Dakota). A total of eight teams will qualify for the Big Sky Tournament on Nov. 17-19.
The Hornets will play in four preseason tournaments, comprised of the Maverick Classic in Arlington, Texas (Aug. 26-27), the Vegas Shuffle in Las Vegas (Sept. 2-3), a UTEP/New Mexico State co-hosted tournament in both El Paso and Las Cruces (Sept. 9-10), and the Sacramento State Invitational (Sept. 16-17).
Sacramento State will play just two regular season matches that are not part of tournament or conference play, comprised of Sept. 6 at CSU Bakersfield, and Sept. 13 at home vs. UC Davis.
The Big Sky opener will take place on the road at Weber State on Friday, Sept. 23. That matchup against the Wildcats is the first of a stretch that will see Sacramento State play seven of its first eight Big Sky contests on the road between Sept. 23 and Oct. 15. In fact, the only home match during that stretch will come against Montana on Sept. 29.
After road matches at Weber State (Sept. 23) and Idaho State (Sept. 24), the Montana home contest splits up a tough stretch that will then see Sacramento State play a five-match road trip consisting of Portland State (Oct. 1), North Dakota (Oct. 6), Northern Colorado (Oct. 8), Southern Utah (Oct. 13) and Northern Arizona (Oct. 15).
While the Hornets have the toughest first half of the conference schedule among all 12 Big Sky teams, Sacramento State does have the friendliest second half of the schedule. In fact, the Hornets will play seven of their final eight Big Sky contests at home during a stretch from Oct. 20 until Nov. 12. That includes a four-match homestand, followed by a road matchup at Montana State on Nov. 3, only to finish the regular season with three straight home contests.
Those final seven home tilts will come against Idaho (Oct. 20), Eastern Washington (Oct. 22), Northern Arizona (Oct. 27), Southern Utah (Oct. 29), Portland State (Nov. 5), Idaho State (Nov. 10) and Weber State (Nov. 12). The home matchup with Weber State on Nov. 12 will be Senior Day.
The Hornets return 13 players, including four starters and the libero, from last year's squad which finished 26-7 overall and 12-4 in the Big Sky. Sacramento State advanced to the semifinal round of the Big Sky Tournament, won 10 of its final 12 matches of the season and finished 11-1 at home. The 26 overall wins were the most since 2007, and 25 of those victories came in either three or four sets. In addition, Volta was named the Big Sky's Coach of the Year.
NOTES -- The Hornets' annual Alumni Game will take place on Saturday, Aug. 20, at noon inside the Nest…later that evening, after the Alumni Game, there will be a fundraising spaghetti feed dinner to help raise money for the team's trip to China in the summer of 2017…the dinner will take place at the Alumni Center on campus the evening of Aug. 20, and more details will follow in the near future…Sacramento State will play Arkansas-Pine Bluff, UT Arlington and Grand Canyon for the first time ever…the Hornets will play the following opponents for the first time in a long while - Hofstra (1995), Arizona (1999), Sam Houston (2002), UNLV (2003), UTEP (2006) and New Mexico State (2006).
March 24, 2017 VOLLEYBALL TO PLAY FIVE MATCHES IN CHINA IN EARLY JUNE
February 28, 2017 KURTZ AND BOYLE TO ATTEND THE WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM OPEN TRYOUTS
January 30, 2017 HELP SUPPORT VOLLEYBALL'S SUMMER TRIP TO CHINA
November 15, 2016 VOLLEYBALL BEGINS BIG SKY TOURNAMENT ON THURSDAY VS. EASTERN WASHINGTON
October 31, 2016 CANNON AND SKALBECK SWEEP BIG SKY VOLLEYBALL WEEKLY AWARDS
October 26, 2016 VOLLEYBALL CONTINUES HOMESTAND; LOOKS TO IMPROVE HOME WINNING STREAK
October 20, 2016 FINALLY BACK AT HOME, VOLLEYBALL SWEEPS PAST IDAHO
October 8, 2016 VOLLEYBALL REMAINS HOT ON THE ROAD, BEATS NORTHERN COLORADO, 3-1
September 29, 2016 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS MONTANA TONIGHT, TRAVELS TO PORTLAND STATE ON SATURDAY
September 29, 2016 VOLLEYBALL NOW 3-0 IN THE BIG SKY AFTER HOME SWEEP OF MONTANA
September 26, 2016 KURTZ NAMED THE BIG SKY’S VOLLEYBALL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
September 24, 2016 VOLLEYBALL NOW 2-0 IN THE BIG SKY AFTER 3-2 ROAD WIN AT IDAHO STATE
September 23, 2016 VOLLEYBALL OPENS CONFERENCE PLAY WITH 3-1 ROAD WIN AT WEBER STATE
September 21, 2016 VOLLEYBALL BEGINS CONFERENCE PLAY THIS WEEK ON THE ROAD
September 17, 2016 VOLLEYBALL SWEEPS SECOND ROUND MATCHUP OVER GRAND CANYON, 3-0
September 17, 2016 VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO EVENTUAL TOURNAMENT CHAMPION CAL POLY
September 16, 2016 VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN FOUR TO NEVADA IN 1ST ROUND OF SACRAMENTO STATE INVITE
September 13, 2016 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS UC DAVIS TONIGHT, TOURNAMENT ON FRIDAY & SATURDAY
September 13, 2016 VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN HOME OPENER TO UC DAVIS
September 10, 2016 VOLLEYBALL CONCLUDES 10-MATCH ROAD TRIP WITH CONVINCING SWEEP OF UTEP
September 9, 2016 VOLLEYBALL DROPS ANOTHER CLOSE MATCH, FALLS IN FIVE TO NEW MEXICO STATE
September 9, 2016 VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO ARIZONA IN 2ND ROUND OF LAS CRUCES TOURNAMENT
September 8, 2016 VOLLEYBALL WRAPS UP 10-MATCH ROAD TRIP THIS WEEK
September 6, 2016 VOLLEYBALL PICKS UP ROAD WIN, SWEEPS CSU BAKERSFIELD
September 3, 2016 VOLLEYBALL DROPS THREE 2-POINT SETS IN 3-1 LOSS TO HOFSTRA
September 2, 2016 VOLLEYBALL SUFFERS FIRST LOSS OF THE YEAR, FALLS AT UNLV, 3-1
September 2, 2016 VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN 2ND ROUND OF VEGAS TOURNAMENT TO CSUN
September 1, 2016 VOLLEYBALL TAKES 3-0 RECORD TO TOURNAMENT IN VEGAS
August 29, 2016 SKALBECK NAMED THE BIG SKY’S DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
August 23, 2016 VOLLEYBALL OPENS THE 2016 SEASON THIS FRIDAY IN ARLINGTON
August 23, 2016 VOLLEYBALL’S SPAGHETTI FEED FUNDRAISER GENERATES OVER $15,000
August 18, 2016 VOLLEYBALL ALUMNI GAME AND SPAGHETTI FEED ON TAP FOR SATURDAY
May 27, 2016 VOLLEYBALL RELEASES ITS 2016 SCHEDULE