VOLLEYBALL TRAVELS TO BOISE FOR THREE MATCHES IN TWO DAYS

VOLLEYBALL TRAVELS TO BOISE FOR THREE MATCHES IN TWO DAYS

Full set of game notes (7 pages) - pdf
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The Week Ahead

• Sacramento State (3-2), currently in its second week of the season, will play in the Boise State Invitational over the next two days. The Hornets will compete twice on Friday vs. Missouri (2-2) at 10 a.m. PDT and tournament host Boise State (2-1) at 6:30 p.m. PDT, followed by a Saturday matchup with BYU (3-0) at 11 a.m. PDT.
• The Hornets are coming off a 3-1 loss to Pacific in Wednesday's home opener. Sacramento State began the year last weekend by going 3-1 at a tournament hosted by St. John's in New York. Among the team's wins were victories over UConn, Holy Cross and New Hampshire.
• This week's tournament features four teams, and begins on Thursday with BYU taking on Boise State. Three more matches will be played on Friday and two on Saturday.
• Sacramento State's match against Missouri on Friday will begin a stretch in which the team will play seven consecutive matches away from home. The Hornets do not return to the Nest until Sept. 12 when they host San Francisco in their final non-conference home match of the year.
• In fact, of Sacramento State's first 12 matches of the season, only one will come on the home floor.
• The Hornets' loss to Pacific snapped an eight-match home winning streak dating back to last season.
• Saturday's win against New Hampshire marked the program's 550th during the Div. I era (1991-pres.). The team is just 30 wins shy of 1,000 as a program (970-441, .687 winning%).

This Week's Multimedia Options

• Live video, presented by FloVolleyball, will be provided for each of Sacramento State's matches at this week's tournament. There will be a fee for fans to watch.
• Multimedia options (video, live stats) can be accessed to the right of each match on the volleyball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.
• Free live video will be offered for every home match this season via www.WatchBigSky.com. In addition, free video will be offered for every road match played in a Big Sky Conference venue.

vs. This Week's Opponents

• Sacramento State is a combined 5-5 against the opponents it will play at the tournament.
• That includes a 4-2 record against Boise State. The Hornets had won three straight in the series until a Bronco three-set sweep in Boise on Sept. 14, 2013. That match also marked the last time the two teams have met. The Hornets are 2-1 when playing the Broncos in Boise, including victories in 1981 and 1993.
• The Hornets are 0-3 against BYU, but the two teams have not played since a four-set Cougar win inside the Nest on Oct. 25, 2001. The other two meetings came in 1991 and 1993.
• Sacramento State won its only meeting against Missouri in a three-set sweep on Oct. 5, 1991, in Fullerton. The Hornets and Tigers will face each other twice this year, including a matchup on Sept. 16 in Reno, Nev.

Coming Off A 20-Win Season and South Division Title

• Last year, Sacramento State posted a 20-12 overall record, a 13-3 mark in the Big Sky Conference, 9-3 at home, 8-5 on the road and 3-4 on neutral floors.
• The Hornets won the Big Sky's South Division for the first time and assumed the No. 2 seed at the conference tournament before falling in four sets to Northern Arizona in the semifinals.
• Sacramento State has posted back-to-back 20-win years, and is a combined 49-21 dating back to the beginning of the 2015 season. That includes a 25-7 record in league over that span.
• The Hornets have not lost a home match against a conference team since 2014, going 8-0 inside the Nest each of the last two years.
• Last season, Sacramento State led the 12-team Big Sky in kills (13.80 per set), assists (12.83 per set) and digs (17.72 per set). The digs per set also ranked as the eighth best mark in the nation.
• The Hornets won each of their final eight regular season matches and improved the winning streak to nine with a Big Sky Tournament quarterfinal victory over Eastern Washington. However, that nine-match winning streak came to an end with the 3-1 semifinal loss to Northern Arizona.

Starting Lineup Consistency

• Head coach Ruben Volta has used the same starting lineup in all five matches thus far, consisting of Shannon Boyle and Mikaela Nocetti at outside hitter, Kennedy Kurtz at setter, Lana Brown and Brie Gathright at middle blocker, Sarah Davis at rightside hitter and Brigitte Murdock at libero.
• Boyle, Nocetti, Kurtz and Gathright were all starters a year ago. Brown, Davis and Murdock each replaced graduated seniors in the starting lineup. In fact, each of those three graduated seniors were named second team all-conference a year ago (MB Courtney Dietrich, OPP Madeline Cannon, LIB Lexie Skalbeck). Kurtz and Boyle are this year's team co-captains.
• Of the starters, three are currently averaging at least 3.00 kills per set in Boyle (3.19), Brown (3.00) and Nocetti (3.00). In addition, four are averaging better than 2.50 digs per set, comprised of Murdock (4.14), Boyle (3.10), Kurtz (2.76) and Nocetti (2.57).

Hornet Notables

• Sacramento State took an 11-day tour of China from May 31-June 10 that included six matches against local college and junior professional teams. The Hornets spent three days in Shanghai, followed by three days in Nanjing, and the rest of the trip took place in Beijing. The trip was the first abroad for Sacramento State volleyball.
• The Hornets had hit at least .210 in each of the first four matches until connecting at just a .134 clip in Wednesday's loss to Pacific.
• In its three wins, Sacramento State limited the opposition to a .165 hitting percentage or lower. In its losses, St. John's hit .285 and Pacific hit .306.
• Both starting outside hitters (Shannon Boyle, Mikaela Nocetti) have connected for double figures in kills in all five matches. Middle blocker Lana Brown had at least 11 kills in each of the team's first four matches prior to tallying seven on Wednesday against Pacific.
• In 64 serves sent her way, libero Brigitte Murdock does not have a reception error.
Kennedy Kurtz (4,110) is just 184 assists shy of moving into fifth in program history.