Text-Only Site

VOLLEYBALL PLAYS FINAL 2 REGULAR SEASON HOME MATCHES WITH LEAGUE TITLE UP FOR GRABS

VOLLEYBALL PLAYS FINAL 2 REGULAR SEASON HOME MATCHES WITH LEAGUE TITLE UP FOR GRABS

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

The Week Ahead

• Sacramento State (17-11, 11-3) enters the final week of the regular season with the possibility of winning the Big Sky's regular season title and hosting the conference tournament.
• The Hornets, who have won six straight matches and are one of four Big Sky teams with three league losses or less, host Idaho State on Thursday at 7 p.m. and Weber State on Saturday at 1 p.m. Prior to Saturday's match, Sacramento State seniors Madeline Cannon, Courtney Dietrich, Lexie Skalbeck and Morgan Stanley will be honored for their contributions to the program.
• The Hornets are tied atop the Big Sky's South Division with Northern Arizona (11-3) while North Dakota (12-2) leads the North Division, one game ahead of Northern Colorado (11-3).
• Sacramento State would host the Big Sky Tournament on Nov. 17-19 if North Dakota loses both its matches this week and the Hornets win both. The league's top team (regardless of division) hosts the eight-team postseason event, and Sacramento State owns tiebreakers over Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado but does not own the tiebreaker against North Dakota.
• The Hornets could host the Big Sky Tournament for the first time since 2007.
• There are scenarios where Sacramento State could earn a share of the Big Sky regular season championship, but not host the tourney. In that case, the Hornets would still win their first Big Sky regular season title since 2007 when the team reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
• The Hornets will look to continue their dominance of Big Sky teams at home as the Hornets are 6-0 against the league this season inside the Nest, outscoring teams by an 18-1 margin in sets.
• In fact, dating back to last season, the Hornets have won 14 straight at home vs. league foes.

This Week's Multimedia Options

• Just like every match the remainder of the season (including the Big Sky Tournament), both contests this week can be viewed live and free via www.WatchBigSky.com.
• Live stats will be available for every match the remainder of the year.
• 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 State is one of the league's hottest teams, having won three straight and 10 of its last 11 matches. That includes a 3-2 win (18-16 in the 5th) on Saturday at home against Northern Arizona in which the Bengals saved three match points before winning.
• The Bengals are 15-12 overall and 10-4 in the Big Sky, and sit just one game behind the Hornets and Northern Arizona in the Big Sky's South Division.
• The Hornets beat Idaho State earlier this year in Pocatello in five sets (17-15 in the 5th), and own a 29-13 all-time record against the Bengals.
• Sacramento State, which is 15-5 all-time against the Bengals at home, is looking for its first season sweep of Idaho State since the 2007 season.
• If the season ended today, Weber State (14-10, 5-9) would be the 8th and final seed for the Big Sky Tournament, so the Wildcats have plenty to play for this week.
• Weber State snapped a seven-match losing streak with Saturday's home sweep of Southern Utah.
• The Hornets beat the Wildcats in four sets earlier this season in Ogden in the Big Sky opener for both teams. In fact, Weber State had been 9-0 prior to that matchup.
• Sacramento State is 34-10 all-time against Weber State, including an 18-3 record at home.

So Who Will Host The Big Sky Tournament?

• Heading into the final week of the regular season, based on all the tiebreaker scenarios, there are still four teams that have a shot at hosting the Big Sky Tournament, comprised of North Dakota (12-2), Sacramento State (11-3), Northern Arizona (11-3) and Northern Colorado (11-3).

Remaining schedules:

North Dakota: at Northern Arizona on Thursday, home vs. Northern Colorado on Saturday.
Sacramento State: home vs. Idaho State on Thursday, home vs. Weber State on Saturday.
Northern Arizona: home vs. North Dakota on Thursday, home vs. Southern Utah on Saturday.
Northern Colorado: at Southern Utah on Thursday, at North Dakota on Saturday.

Scenarios for each team to host:

• For North Dakota to host (two scenarios)....1. North Dakota controls its own destiny and would host with two wins this week....or....2. North Dakota beats NAU, falls to Northern Colorado AND Northern Colorado splits its two matches AND Sacramento State wins both its matches.
• For Sacramento State to host (one scenario)....the Hornets need to win both matches this week AND North Dakota has to lose both its matches.
• For Northern Arizona to host (five scenarios, here are three most likely)....1. NAU wins both matches AND North Dakota beats Northern Colorado AND Sacramento State wins its two matches....or....2. NAU wins out AND North Dakota loses to Northern Colorado AND Sacramento State splits its two matches....or....3. NAU wins out, North Dakota loses out AND Sacramento State splits.
• For Northern Colorado to host (two scenarios)....1. Northern Colorado wins out AND North Dakota beats Northern Arizona AND Sacramento State wins out....or....2. Northern Colorado wins out AND North Dakota beats Northern Arizona AND Sacramento State splits.

Hornets Playing At A High Level

• Sacramento State, which was selected to finish fifth in the Big Sky's preseason coaches poll, is currently playing its best volleyball of the season. The team has won six straight and has dropped just two sets during the winning streak.
• The winning streak is tied for the third longest in nine years. Last season's team had winning streaks of 12 matches and eight matches long.
• Sacramento State leads the Big Sky in digs per set (17.50) and kills per set (13.86), marks which rank 12th and 47th, respectively, in the nation.
• The Hornets are just three victories shy of their second consecutive 20-win season.
• The team has not lost a conference home match since Nov. 15, 2014, a streak of 14 consecutive wins inside the Nest against Big Sky opposition. Last year's team went 8-0 at home in league play.
• Sacramento State's 11-3 conference record ties its best league mark after 14 matches in nine years. Last year's team was also 11-3. The 2007 squad had a 12-2 record.