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VOLLEYBALL BEGINS BIG SKY TOURNAMENT ON THURSDAY VS. EASTERN WASHINGTON

VOLLEYBALL BEGINS BIG SKY TOURNAMENT ON THURSDAY VS. EASTERN WASHINGTON

Full set of game notes (30 pages) - pdf
Big Sky Tournament Central
Big Sky Conference standings

THE WEEK AHEAD....BIG SKY TOURNAMENT

• For the 16th time since joining the Big Sky in 1996, Sacramento State (19-11, 13-3) will play in this week's Big Sky Tournament. The three-day, single elimination event will take place in Grand Forks, N.D., as the Fighting Hawks won the league's regular season title.
• The appearance is the second straight for the Hornets as last year's team won its quarterfinal matchup over Northern Colorado but fell in the semis to eventual tournament champion Northern Arizona.
• The postseason tournament (Nov. 17-19) includes the top eight teams in the 12-member Big Sky, and features four quarterfinal matches on Thursday, two semifinal matchups on Friday, and the championship will take place on Saturday at 5 p.m. PST.
• Sacramento State is the No. 2 seed and will play No. 7 Eastern Washington on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. PST. The Hornets were the Big Sky's South Division champion with a 13-3 record and were just two points away from hosting this year's tournament. North Dakota defeated the Hornets in Grand Forks in five sets in the teams' only meeting (15-13 in the fifth set). Had Sacramento State been the victor in that match, the Hornets would be hosting this year's event.
• The seeds are as follows: No. 1 North Dakota (14-2), No. 2 Sacramento State (13-3), No. 3 Northern Arizona (12-4), No. 4 Northern Colorado (12-4), No. 5 Idaho State (10-6), No. 6 Portland State (9-7), No. 7 Eastern Washington (8-8) and No. 8 Idaho (6-10).
• The winner of the Sacramento State-Eastern Washington matchup will play the winner of the Portland State-Northern Arizona contest in the semifinals on Friday at 2:30 p.m. PST. The other semifinal will take place on Friday at 5:00 p.m. PST.
• Other quarterfinal matches on Thursday include Northern Colorado-Idaho State (2:30 p.m. PST) and North Dakota-Idaho (5:00 p.m. PST).
• The winner of the championship match receives an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
• The NCAA Tournament has taken just one team from the Big Sky 16 consecutive years, making it the only real opportunity for a Big Sky school to qualify for the Big Dance.
• The Hornets and North Dakota enter the tournament as the league's hottest teams as both currently have eight-match winning streaks. Both teams completed the second half of the league schedule with perfect 8-0 records, and they were the lone two teams with undefeated league records at home (8-0).

MULTIMEDIA OPTIONS FOR THE TOURNAMENT

• The tournament home page can be found by clicking here.
• Free live video for every match of the tournament can be obtained via www.WatchBigSky.com.
• Live stats will also be made available for every match of the tournament.
• Multimedia options (video, live stats) can be accessed to the right of each match on the volleyball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.

HORNETS AT THE BIG SKY TOURNAMENT

• Currently in their 21st season in the Big Sky, the Hornets are making their 16th appearance at the Big Sky Tournament, and have posted a 21-6 record at the postseason event.
• The Hornets have won the Big Sky Tournament title nine times (1997-98, 2000, 2002-07).
• That included a run of 12 consecutive victories spanning six years from 2002-07.
• Of the team's 15 appearances at the tournament thus far, Sacramento State has reached the championship match 11 times with the only exceptions coming in 1999, 2008, 2011 and 2015.

2015: Quarters: def. Northern Colorado (3-1), Semis: lost to Northern Arizona (3-0)
2011: Semis: lost at Portland State (3-1)
2008: Quarters: lost to Northern Colorado (3-1)
2007: Semis: def. Eastern Washington (3-0), Championship: def. Portland State (3-0)
2006: Semis: def. Northern Colorado (3-0), Championship: def. Eastern Washington (3-1)
2005: Semis: def. Montana State (3-0), Championship: def. Eastern Washington (3-1)
2004: Semis: def. Montana State (3-0), Championship: def. Eastern Washington (3-1)
2003: Semis: def. Idaho State (3-0), Championship: def. Eastern Washington (3-2)
2002: Semis: def. Montana State (3-2), Championship: def. Eastern Washington (3-1)
2001: Semis: def. Montana State (3-0), Championship: lost to Eastern Washington (3-1)
2000: Semis: def. Montana State (3-2), Championship: def. Eastern Washington (3-0)
1999: Semis: lost to Cal State Northridge (3-2)
1998: Semis: def. Northern Arizona (3-0), Championship: def. Eastern Washington (3-0)
1997: Semis: def. Montana State (3-0), Championship: def. Northern Arizona (3-0)
1996: Semis: def. Montana (3-2), Championship: lost to Cal State Northridge (3-2)

VS. TOURNAMENT FIELD (this year, all-time, Big Sky Tourney)

• #1 North Dakota: Went 0-1 vs. UND this year, 2-6 all-time, never played in Big Sky Tourney.
• #3 Northern Arizona: Went 1-1 vs. NAU this year, 34-16 all-time, 2-1 in Big Sky Tourney.
• #4 Northern Colorado: Went 1-0 vs. UNC this year, 12-13 all-time, 1-1 in Big Sky Tourney.
• #5 Idaho State: Went 2-0 this year, 30-13 all-time, never played in Big Sky Tourney.
• #6 Portland State: Went 2-0 this year, 42-22 all-time, 1-1 in Big Sky Tourney.
• #7 Eastern Washington: Went 1-0 this year, 32-17 all-time, 8-1 in Big Sky Tourney.
• #8 Idaho: Went 1-0 this year, 3-3 all-time, never played in Big Sky Tourney.

HORNET NOTABLES

• Sacramento State will resume its rivalry with Eastern Washington in the Big Sky Tournament. The Hornets have played the Eagles in the postseason more than any other league foe. Sacramento State is 8-1 against Eastern Washington in the Big Sky Tourney. The two teams played in the Big Sky championship match seven straight years (2000-06). The Hornets won all those meetings except 2001.
• The Hornets' current eight-match winning streak ties for the second longest in nine years. During that span, only last year's 12-match winning streak is longer.
• During the current eight-match winning streak, the Hornets have dropped just three sets.
• Sacramento State is one victory shy of its second consecutive 20-win season and its 29th season in program history with at least 20 victories.
• The Hornets lead the Big Sky in digs (17.57), kills (13.95) and assists (12.96) per set, marks which rank eighth, 43rd and 45th in the nation, respectively.
• The Hornets' 13-3 league record is the best since the 2007 squad also went 13-3. That 2007 team is the last Hornet squad to win a Big Sky Tourney title and advance to the NCAA Tournament.
• Sacramento State moved up to 106th out of 334 Div. I teams in the latest NCAA RPI report, the best mark among the Big Sky's 12 programs.
• After serving in a reserve capacity for six straight weeks, senior outside hitter Morgan Stanley had 19 kills in a start Saturday vs. Weber State, and in the process, notched her 1,000th career kill.
• The Hornets were selected fifth in the Big Sky preseason poll, but easily surpassed that prediction.
• The Hornets are just 67 digs shy of recording their first 2,000 dig season since 2011, and 18th season since joining the Div. I ranks in 1991.