Big Sky Conference standings
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Madeline Cannon had a career-high 20 kills and Mikaela Nocetti added 17 kills and 14 digs to lead Sacramento State to a 3-1 victory (25-15, 16-25, 25-21, 25-14) over Portland State on Saturday evening at the Nest.
With the victory, not only did the Hornets (17-11, 11-3) win their sixth straight match, they also moved into a tie for first place with Northern Arizona (11-3) in the Big Sky Conference's South Division. NAU squandered three match points in a five-set loss at Idaho State (18-16 in the 5th) earlier this evening. Should the Hornets and Northern Arizona finish the regular season tied, Sacramento State would get the tiebreaker.
With just two matches remaining in the regular season, the Hornets still have a shot at hosting the Big Sky Tournament on Nov. 17-19. However, Sacramento State would need to win both its home matches next week, and the North Division leader North Dakota (12-2) would have to lose both its matches. North Dakota owns the tiebreaker over Sacramento State. The top team in the Big Sky gains the right to host the Big Sky Tournament.
The Hornets, who are now 6-0 at home against Big Sky opposition, will host Idaho State on Thursday and Weber State on Saturday. Meanwhile, North Dakota has to face two of the toughest teams in the Big Sky, including Thursday on the road at Northern Arizona, and back at home Saturday vs. Northern Colorado (11-3).
The six match winning streak ties for the third longest for the Hornets in the last eight years. In addition, Sacramento State has outscored its six Big Sky opponents at home by an 18-1 margin in sets. In fact, when the Hornets dropped the second set tonight, it snapped a string of 16 consecutive victorious sets for the Hornets over Big Sky opposition inside the Nest.
Portland State, which had won five of its last six matches and was one of the Big Sky's hottest teams, dropped to 15-11 and 7-7 in the conference. Including a 3-1 win earlier this season in Portland, Sacramento State swept the season series over the Vikings and now own a 42-22 all-time record against Portland State.
The Hornets passed well, served well (eight aces), played their usual strong defense (82 digs, 9.0 team blocks) and setter Kennedy Kurtz did a nice job of running the offense (55 kills as a team, .252 hitting percentage). Sacramento State had four players with double digits in digs, comprised of libero Lexie Skalbeck (19), Shannon Boyle (19), Kurtz (15) and Nocetti (14). In addition, the Hornets are now averaging a massive 18.57 digs per set against Big Sky opposition this season.
No one was better than Cannon tonight as the rightside hitter did everything well, finishing with a career-high 20 kills to go along with .459 hitting percentage, three aces, four digs and three blocks. The 20 kills surpassed her previous best of 17 kills, set earlier this season at Idaho State. Not only were the 20 kills the most by any player on the floor, she also had match highs in hitting percentage and aces.
Nocetti, meanwhile, posted her sixth double-double of the season as the sophomore outside hitter had a career-high tying 17 kills and 14 digs, not to mention a .356 hitting percentage. She had just one error in 45 swings. In addition, the Hornets are now 9-1 against Big Sky opposition when Nocetti connects for double digits in kills.
"I'm really proud of how we fought tonight, especially after Portland State really gave us a tough time in the second set," Sacramento State head coach Ruben Volta said. "We passed well and that led to a good offensive attack, especially Maddie (Cannon) and Mikaela who managed to come up with big kills throughout the match. And, again, we were very good defensively and that has been a common theme throughout the conference season."
Boyle posted her fifth consecutive double-double with 12 kills, 19 digs and an ace. Boyle, Cannon and Nocetti combined for 49 of the Hornets' 56 kills. Skalbeck has now recorded 15+ digs in 11 straight matches, and Kurtz had 45 assists and four blocks to go along with her 15 digs. Brie Gathright had four blocks, Brigitte Murdock had eight digs and Skyler Takeda had multiple aces (2) for the fourth straight match.
For Portland State, Pati Anae (14 kills, .119) and Caitlin Bettenay (10 kills, .098) combined for 24 of the team's 45 kills, but both hit below .120.
Sacramento State will play its final two regular season home matches next week, including Thursday vs. Idaho State at 7 p.m., followed by Saturday at 1 p.m. against Weber State. Prior to the Weber State match, Hornet seniors Cannon, Skalbeck, Courtney Dietrich and Morgan Stanley will be honored for their contributions to the program.
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