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Big Sky Conference standings

The Week Ahead

• Winners of four straight to begin the Big Sky Conference portion of the season, Sacramento State (10-8, 4-0) looks to continue its winning ways on the road this week.
• The Hornets will take on North Dakota on Thursday at 5 p.m. PDT, followed by a matchup at Northern Colorado on Saturday at 6 p.m. PDT.
• Making the Hornets' 4-0 league mark even more impressive is three of the team's conference matches have been on the road. In fact, Sacramento State is in the midst of a stretch that will see the Hornets play seven of their first eight league matches of the season on the road.
• The Hornets' 3-1 win at Portland State on Saturday was the first of a five-match road trip that includes dates at Southern Utah and Northern Arizona next week.
• Sacramento State is 4-0 in league play for the first time since the 2007 season, and the team has won its first three Big Sky road matches for the first time since 2006.
• The Hornets are 6-2 when playing on an opponent's home floor. That includes four straight road wins, and five wins in their last six matchups on the road.
• The Hornets are one of just two teams remaining in the 12-member Big Sky with a perfect conference record, along with fellow South Division rival Northern Arizona.
• North Dakota (11-8, 3-1) and Northern Colorado (9-7, 3-1) are a combined 6-2 in Big Sky play. The Fighting Hawks have won four of their last five matches, and beat both Idaho and Eastern Washington on the road last week. The Bears have won three straight, and pulled off the same road sweep of Idaho and Eastern Washington last week.

This Week's Multimedia Options

• Just like every match the remainder of the season (home or away), both contests this week can be viewed live and free via www.WatchBigSky.com.
• Live stats will also be available for every match this year, home or away.
• Multimedia options (video, live stats, audio, etc.) can be accessed to the right of each match on the volleyball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.

Against This Week's Opponents

• North Dakota joined the Big Sky in 2012, and the Hornets are 2-5 all-time against the Fighting Hawks. Sacramento State had dropped five straight until last year's 3-1 win in Grand Forks.
• The Hornets are 1-2 when playing on the road at UND, and last season's 23-25, 27-25, 25-20, 25-19 win marked Sacramento State's first-ever win in Grand Forks.
• Northern Colorado joined the Big Sky in 2006, and the Hornets are 11-13 all-time against the Bears. Sacramento State won both its matches against Northern Colorado last year, including 3-1 victories at home and in the quarterfinal round of the Big Sky Tournament.
• The Hornets have lost eight straight matches on the road to Northern Colorado and are just 1-8 all-time in Greeley. In fact, the Hornets' only win in Greeley came on Nov. 11, 2006, a 3-1 victory over Northern Colorado when collegiate teams were playing sets to 30 points.

Opening League Play With a 4-0 Record

• Sacramento State is 4-0 in the Big Sky for the first time since 2007, and for just the fourth time since joining the league in 1996 (the 2003 and 2006 squads also accomplished the feat).
• The Hornets' best start ever in Big Sky play was 10-0 in 2006, and 8-0 in 2007.
• Of the four wins, the only match to last five sets was a 3-2 win at Idaho State in which the Hornets ripped off the final three points of the match to win in the fifth by a 17-15 score.
• The Hornets are one of only two teams in the Big Sky still undefeated in Big Sky play, joining Northern Arizona. It was NAU that won last year's regular season and tournament championships.
• The Hornets' four-match winning streak is the longest of the season, and longest since the team ripped off eight straight last year from Oct. 15-Nov. 7.

Road Warriors

• Sacramento State has been especially good on the road as the Hornets enter the week with a 6-2 record when playing on an opponent's home floor. That's already two wins shy of the entire total from all of last season's victories on on the road (8-5).
• The Hornets have won four straight on the road, which includes a three-set sweep of UTEP, and the three league wins over Weber State, Idaho State and Portland State.
• One more road win would give the Hornets a five-match road winning streak, which would be the longest since the 2006 team won five straight roadies from Sept. 23-Oct. 17, 2006.
• Amazingly, Sacramento State has more losses in five home matches (2-3) than the Hornets have posted in eight road matches (6-2).

Hornet Notables

• Sacramento State ranks among the nation's top 50 teams, and first in the Big Sky, in digs (31st in the nation, 16.44 dps), kills (37th, 13.94 kps) and assists (46th, 12.88 aps).
• The Hornets have won each of their last two matches when dropping the first set. This comes after the team lost its first six matches of the season when falling in the opening frame.
• One year after finishing 17th in the nation with 11.39 assists per set, junior setter Kennedy Kurtz is putting up big numbers again, currently ranking 12th in the nation with 11.27 assists per set.
• After missing 18 matches in 2015 with injury, outside hitter Shannon Boyle has been impressive in her return this season, ranking second in the league in double-doubles (10), and fourth in both kills (3.71 kps) and points (4.15 pps).
• In Big Sky play, rightside hitter Madeline Cannon is averaging a team-best 3.50 kills per set to go along with a .379 hitting percentage. She has hit better than .340 in all four league matches.
• Middle blocker Courtney Dietrich had a career-best 13 kills at Portland State, and is now hitting .380 this year, the second best mark in the Big Sky.
• Fourth-year senior outside hitter Morgan Stanley is just 37 kills shy of 1,000 career kills.
• Sophomore Mikaela Nocetti, who has started at outside hitter each of the last three matches, has double figures in kills three times in the last four matches after doing so twice in her first 11 matches.
• Libero Lexie Skalbeck continues to rank fourth in the Big Sky with 4.53 digs per set and middle blocker Brie Gathright is eighth in the league with 1.03 blocks per set.