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VOLLEYBALL OPENS HOMESTAND WITH MATCHES ON THURSDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT

VOLLEYBALL OPENS HOMESTAND WITH MATCHES ON THURSDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT

Full set of game notes (23 pages) - pdf
Big Sky Conference standings

The Week Ahead

• Sacramento State (11-11, 5-3) begins a four-match homestand - and a stretch that will see the team play seven of its next eight matches at home - this week against Idaho (7-13, 2-6) on Thursday and Eastern Washington (10-7, 5-3) on Saturday. Both contests will begin at 7 p.m.
• Thursday night is Kids Day, sponsored by the Future Hornet Kids Club, as kids 12-under are free and Hornet players will autograph free posters after the match.
• At the midway point of the Big Sky Conference season, the Hornets have played the league's toughest schedule as seven of their first eight matches have come on the road.
• And now, Sacramento State will enjoy the conference's friendliest schedule during the second half, playing seven of the last eight regular season matches at home.
• Despite dropping two matches last week, the Hornets have to feel good about a 5-3 league record when seven of those contests were on the road. The team is currently tied for second in the Big Sky's South Division with Idaho State, two games behind first-place Northern Arizona.
• Two of the Hornets' three league losses have come in five sets as Sacramento State is just a handful of points shy of being 7-1 in conference play.
• The Hornets' lone road match the rest of the regular season will come Nov. 3 at Montana State.
• Sacramento State has played just five home matches thus far with the last coming in a three-set sweep of Montana on Sept. 29. Thursday's match vs. Idaho opens a four-match homestand which is tied for the longest home stretch of the season.
• The Hornets just completed a five-match road trip with Saturday's loss at Northern Arizona.

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

• Idaho (7-13, 2-6) has played five of its last six matches at home, and will be playing on the road Thursday for just the second time since Sept. 24.
• The Vandals have lost three straight and six of the last seven. This will mark the only matchup of the season for the Hornets and Idaho, as the Vandals reside in the North Division.
• Idaho is in its third year in the Big Sky, and the Hornets are 2-3 all-time against the Vandals. That included Idaho winning both matchups (in 2014 and 2015) as a Big Sky team. The Hornets have dropped three straight in the series with the last win over Idaho coming in three sets on Sept. 9, 1995, at a tournament in Portland.
• Eastern Washington (10-7, 5-3) has won three of its last four matches after splitting last week on the road at Idaho State (L, 3-0) and Idaho (W, 3-2).
• The Eagles are currently third in the Big Sky's North Division, and Saturday will mark the only time the Hornets and Eastern Washington will play each other this year.
• The Hornets are 31-17 all-time against Eastern Washington, but have lost four of the last five meetings. Sacramento State's last win against the Eagles came in four sets at home on Oct. 26, 2013. The Hornets are 21-6 when playing Eastern Washington in Sacramento.

Finally Back At Home

• Finally, the Hornets will enjoy some home cooking after spending a good portion of the last four weeks on the road. Since the conclusion of the Hornets' home tournament on Sept. 17, Sacramento State has played just one match at home (Sept. 29 vs. Montana).
• In fact, over the last four weeks, Sacramento State had just nine practices on its home floor as road trips in the Big Sky usually last from Wednesday through Sunday.
• Sacramento State is 2-3 at home, which included a 1-3 homestand Sept. 13-17. However, the team's last matchup at home was a three-set sweep (25-17, 25-16, 25-22) of Montana.
• Dating back to last season, the Hornets are 13-4 in their last 17 matches at home.

Racking Up Kills

• Sacramento State is currently first in the Big Sky in kills (1,145) and kills per set (13.80). In fact, the 1,145 kills are the 12th best mark in the country and the Hornets now lead the nation with 39.65 attacks per set.
• Running the offense has been third-year starting setter Kennedy Kurtz who is now third in the nation with 929 assists and 16th in the nation with 11.19 assists per set.
• The Hornets have four players averaging at least 2.70 kills per set in Shannon Boyle (3.57), Madeline Cannon (2.99), Morgan Stanley (2.89) and Mikaela Nocetti (2.70).

Hornet Notables

Kennedy Kurtz has 3,472 career assists, the sixth best mark in program history, and needs 528 assists to become just the sixth Hornet setter to reach the 4,000 assists plateau.
• Since 1985, Sacramento State has seen 20 players reach the 1,000 career kill plateau. Morgan Stanley should become the 21st in the near future as she is just 16 kills shy of the milestone.
Courtney Dietrich, who has hit .400 or above on nine occasions this year, currently ranks fifth in the Big Sky with a .346 hitting percentage.
• During conference play, when outside hitter Mikaela Nocetti records 10 kills or more, Sacramento State is 4-1 in those matches. Nocetti is now averaging 2.70 kills and 2.25 digs per set.
• In conference play, rightside hitter Madeline Cannon is fifth in the Big Sky in both kills (3.39) and points (3.94) per set, as well as ninth in hitting percentage (.318).
• Outside hitter Shannon Boyle has double-figure kills on a team-best 18 occasions this year, and has at least eight kills in all eight Big Sky matches thus far.
• Libero Lexie Skalbeck, who is averaging 6.12 digs per set over the last four matches, now ranks first in the Big Sky and 42nd in the nation with 4.86 digs per set.
Brie Gathright has at least six blocks in three of the last five matches and remains ninth in the Big Sky with a team-best average of 1.05 blocks per set.