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VOLLEYBALL CONTINUES HOMESTAND; LOOKS TO IMPROVE HOME WINNING STREAK

VOLLEYBALL CONTINUES HOMESTAND; LOOKS TO IMPROVE HOME WINNING STREAK

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

The Week Ahead


• The Hornets (13-11, 7-3) play the final two legs of their season-high tying four-match homestand on Thursday vs. Northern Arizona at 7 p.m., and Saturday vs. Southern Utah at 1 p.m.
• Thursday is Breast Cancer Awareness Night and fans are encouraged to wear pink.
• The Hornets are 3-0 at home against Big Sky teams this season, and each of those victories have come in straight sets, including last week vs. Idaho and Eastern Washington.
• Dating back to last year, Sacramento State has won 11 straight home matches against Big Sky competition as the Hornets went 8-0 on Colberg Court last season. The last home loss to a conference team was a five-set defeat against Southern Utah on Nov. 15, 2014.
• With just six matches remaining in the regular season (five at home), the Hornets are currently in a tie for second place in the Big Sky's South Division with Idaho State. Both teams are two games behind first place Northern Arizona (19-4, 9-1).
• The winner of the Big Sky's regular season championship will earn the right to host the Big Sky Tournament on Nov. 17-19. The top eight teams in the 12-member Big Sky qualify for the league's postseason event, and if the season ended today, Northern Arizona would host.
• If Sacramento State wants to have a realistic shot of hosting the Big Sky Tournament, a win over Northern Arizona on Thursday would be huge, and get the Hornets within one game of the Lumberjacks in the race for the top spot in the Big Sky.
• The Hornets lost road matches to both Northern Arizona and Southern Utah (4-18, 2-8) earlier this season. That included a three-set loss to NAU and five-set loss to the Thunderbirds.
 
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

• Winners of five straight, Northern Arizona will bring a 19-4 overall record and a 9-1 league mark into Thursday's match. Currently sitting first in the Big Sky's South Division, the Lumberjacks will be playing their first road match since a five-set win at Idaho on Oct. 8.
• NAU's only loss in its last 13 matches came in four sets at Eastern Washington on Oct. 6.
• The Hornets are 33-16 all-time against the Lumberjacks, including a dominating 21-1 when playing in Sacramento. NAU's only win on Sacramento State's home floor came in five sets on Sept. 22, 2011. Since then, the Hornets have won four straight over Northern Arizona at home.
• Earlier this season, NAU beat the Hornets in three sets (27-25, 25-18, 25-14) in Flagstaff.
• Southern Utah (4-18, 2-8) split a pair of home matches last week, and will play at Portland State on Thursday prior to Saturday's matinee against the Hornets.
• The Thunderbirds earned their first conference win of the season on Oct. 13 when they defeated the Hornets in five sets (25-22, 23-25, 14-25, 25-22, 15-10) in Cedar City.
• Southern Utah joined the Big Sky in 2012, and since that time, the Hornets are 5-4 against the Thunderbirds. That includes a 3-1 mark when playing Southern Utah on Colberg Court.

Homecourt Dominance In Big Sky Play

• Sacramento State has won 11 straight home matches against Big Sky competition, a streak that dates back to the first league match of the 2015 season.
• The Hornets' last loss at home to a conference foe came in the 2014 regular season finale in five sets against Southern Utah. Since that time, Sacramento State went 8-0 last season inside the Nest, and 3-0 this year.
• During that 11-match winning streak, seven of those victories have come in three sets. That includes all three wins at home this season.
• In the three home league wins this season, Sacramento State has limited the opposition to a combined .096 hitting percentage and none of those teams hit higher than .132. The Hornets, meanwhile, are averaging 13.11 kills and 18.78 digs per set while hitting .239 in those matches.

Playing The Defense

• While the Hornets' season average of 13.73 kills per set is the best mark in the conference, it's the defense that has really stood out. Sacramento State is averaging 16.99 digs per set which is the 18th best mark in the nation. In league play, the Hornets are averaging a massive 17.77 digs per set.
• Sacramento State has averaged at least 18.0 digs per set in four straight matches, and that doesn't include the team's season-best 20.8 average at North Dakota on Oct. 6.
• Leading the way is senior libero Lexie Skalbeck, who is first in the Big Sky and 41st in the nation with 4.91 digs per set. Over the last six matches, she is averaging 5.96 digs per set.

Hornet Notables

• Setter Kennedy Kurtz is now third in the nation with 993 assists, and 19th in the nation with an average of 11.16 assists per set. Also, she is hitting .397 with 32 kills and five errors in 68 attacks.
• 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 11 occasions this year, currently ranks third in the Big Sky with a .354 hitting percentage.
• During conference play, when outside hitter Mikaela Nocetti records 10 kills or more, Sacramento State is 6-1 in those matches. Nocetti is now averaging 2.76 kills and 2.38 digs per set.
• In conference play, rightside hitter Madeline Cannon is fifth in the Big Sky in points (3.82 pps), seventh in kills (3.23 kps), eighth in aces (0.31 aps) and tied for 10th in hitting percentage (.301).
• Outside hitter Shannon Boyle has double-figure kills on a team-best 19 occasions this year, and has at least eight kills in all 10 Big Sky matches thus far.
Brie Gathright has at least six blocks in four of the last seven matches and is 10th in the Big Sky with a team-best average of 1.07 blocks per set.
Brigitte Murdock has at least seven digs in six of the last nine matches.