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Big Sky Conference standings

The Week Ahead

• Fresh off a pair of home wins to open league play last week against Weber State and Idaho State, Sacramento State (11-7, 2-0) will hit the road for a pair of matchups against Montana (5-10, 0-2) on Thursday at 6 p.m. PDT and Portland State (11-3, 2-0) on Saturday at 7 p.m.
• The trip to Montana will mark the first time the Hornets have played in Missoula since the 2014 season as only the current seniors on Sacramento State's roster have played on Montana's home floor.
• Overall, the Hornets have won eight of their last 10 matches, and are off to a 2-0 start in the Big Sky for the third straight season.
• Sacramento State, which is the defending Big Sky South Division champions, dropped just one set last week in a 3-1 victory over Weber State and a sweep of Idaho State.
• Of the team's 18 matches this season, 14 have come away from home. That includes a 5-4 neutral site record and a 3-2 mark when playing on an opponent's home floor.
• Sacramento State plays six of its first eight conference matches at home, and this week's contests are the break in that run of home games.
• The Hornets are currently one of five Big Sky teams that are 2-0 in league, a list that includes defending Big Sky champion North Dakota, Idaho, Eastern Washington and Portland State.
• Sacramento State is now just 22 victories shy of 1,000 wins over the history of the program. The Hornets have a 978-446 all-time record (.687 winning percentage).
• Since the beginning of the 2015 season, Sacramento State is a combined 27-7 in conference play, including 12-4 in 2015, 13-3 a season ago, and 2-0 this year.

This Week's Multimedia Options

• Free live video will be offered for every match the rest of the season via www.WatchBigSky.com. That includes this week's games at Montana and Portland State.
• Multimedia options (video, live stats) can be accessed to the right of each match on the volleyball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.

vs. This Week's Opponents

• Sacramento State is a combined 71-35 all-time against this week's opponents.
• The Hornets are 29-13 against Montana, and will be making their first trip to Missoula since a 3-1 loss to the Griz on Oct. 25, 2014. The Hornets and Grizzlies played once in 2015 and 2016 with both of those outcomes resulting in three set home sweeps for Sacramento State.
• Sacramento State has lost seven straight when playing Montana in Missoula. In fact, the Hornets have not won on Montana's home floor since a 3-0 sweep on Oct. 5, 2007. Ruben Volta is looking for his first win in Missoula since becoming head coach in 2008.
• In one of the longest standing rivalries against any team, the Hornets are 42-22 all-time against Portland State, including a current four-match winning streak against the Vikings.
• The Hornets are 16-11 when playing on the Vikings' home floor, including four-set wins in each of the last two matches in Portland (2016, 2014).

National Leaders In Plenty Of Categories

• Aided by the fact the Hornets have already played in a massive 74 sets this year, Sacramento State is the national leader in a number of categories, including kills (973), digs (1,227), assists (908) and attacks (2,881). The team is also 10th in total blocks with 154.0.
• In addition, the Hornets have individuals ranking among the nation's top 10 players in many categories. That includes Kennedy Kurtz ranking first with 790 assists, Shannon Boyle ranking first in attacks (874) and eighth in kills (256), Brigitte Murdock ranking sixth with 338 digs, Mikaela Nocetti ranking fifth in attacks (763), and Lana Brown ninth in blocks (82).

Hornet Notables

• Sacramento State picked up its first three-set victory of the season on Saturday against Idaho State. Prior to that, each of the Hornets' first 10 wins had been decided in four of five sets.
• The Hornets are 10-2 when winning the first set of a match, and 1-5 when dropping the first set.
• Sacramento State had been 1-7 when the opposition hit .200 or better until posting two wins last week in that scenario over Weber State (.250) and Idaho State (.221). The team is 8-0 when limiting its opponent to a hitting percentage below .200, and 3-7 when the opposition hits over that mark.
• When winning the first set, the Hornets have been victorious in seven straight matches, and are now 10-2 when taking the first set this season.
• Last week, Sacramento State extended its homecourt winning streak over Big Sky opposition to 18 straight, a stretch which dates back to the beginning of the 2015 conference schedule.
• The Hornets' hitting percentages of .282 vs. Idaho State and .262 vs. Weber State were the second and fourth best marks of the season, respectively.
• Over the last six matches, setter Kennedy Kurtz has 25 kills and a .442 hitting percentage, lifting her season hitting percentage to .301.
• Outside hitter Mikaela Nocetti's seven kills on Saturday ended a run of seven straight matches with double figures in kills. Still, she has tallied 15 matches with double figures in kills and 14 matches with double digits in digs. Nocetti is second in the Big Sky with 12-double-doubles.
• Outside hitter Shannon Boyle has at least eight kills in every match this year, including a current streak of five straight with double-figure kills and 10 straight with double digits in digs. She has posted five straight double-doubles and leads the Big Sky with 14 double-doubles.
• The Hornets have used the same starting lineup every match this season, consisting of Boyle and Nocetti at outside hitter, Brie Gathright and Lana Brown at middle blocker, Kurtz at setter, Sarah Davis at rightside hitter, and Brigitte Murdock at libero.
• Junior middle blocker Lana Brown has 11 matches with double-figure kills after entering the season with a single match career high of seven kills.
• Including a career-high 12 kills vs. Weber State, middle blocker Brie Gathright averaged 2.57 kills to go along with a .485 hitting percentage in two matches last week.
• Libero Brigitte Murdock has posted double figures in digs in all but one match this year, and continues to lead the Big Sky with an average of 4.57 digs per set.
• Defensive specialist Skyler Takeda has posted double figures in digs in three straight matches, and has combined for 35 digs and seven aces during that three-match run.
• Defensive specialist Hannah Meadows has missed the last six matches with injury.