WINNERS OF 10 STRAIGHT, VOLLEYBALL TO PLAY TWICE ON THE ROAD THIS WEEK

WINNERS OF 10 STRAIGHT, VOLLEYBALL TO PLAY TWICE ON THE ROAD THIS WEEK

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

The Week Ahead

• Currently riding a 10-game winning streak and the only unbeaten team in the Big Sky Conference, Sacramento State (19-7, 10-0) wraps up its four-game road trip with matchups at Northern Arizona (9-12, 5-5) on Thursday at 7 p.m., and Southern Utah (6-16, 1-9) on Saturday at 6 p.m.
• With just six matches remaining on the regular season schedule, Sacramento State's magic number is now at four to clinch the Big Sky's regular season title and host the conference tournament.
• Just two weeks ago, the Hornets were victorious against both Southern Utah (3-0) and Northern Arizona (3-1) inside the Nest. The win over NAU on Oct. 14 gave Sacramento State its 22nd consecutive win over Big Sky opposition in regular season matches inside the Nest.
• Sacramento State's 10-0 record in the Big Sky is the program's best mark since joining the league in 1996. The 2007 Hornet squad held the previous record of 8-0.
• The Hornets have won 18 consecutive regular season matches against Big Sky competition. That streak dates back over a full calendar year as a three-set home sweep of Idaho on Oct. 20, 2016, began the streak. The Hornets' last loss came at Northern Arizona on Oct. 15 of last year.
• Sacramento State is one victory shy of its third straight 20-win season, and 30th in program history.
• Still a long ways to go, but if the Hornets manage to win their last six matches, they would become the first Big Sky team to complete an undefeated season in conference play since Cal State Northridge went 16-0 during the 1996 season.
• The Hornets, who are the defending Big Sky South Division champions, are now a combined 35-7 (.833 winning percentage) in league play dating back to the beginning of the 2015 season.

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 Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. Both of this week's matches will also be available on Pluto TV, a free internet television service that can be viewed via an app for mobile devices as well as on PlutoTV.com.
• 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 42-24 against Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, including wins over both teams earlier this year at home.
• Although the Hornets are 35-17 against Northern Arizona, Sacramento State has experienced recent trouble winning in Flagstaff. In fact, the Hornets have dropped eight straight games when playing on NAU's home court, and the last win came in four sets on Oct. 22, 2009.
• Overall, Sacramento State is 10-14 in Flagstaff, which includes a 1-9 record since 2008. The Lumberjacks have defeated the Hornets each of the last two years in the Big Sky Tournament semifinals.
• Sacramento State is 7-4 all-time against Southern Utah, including a 2-3 record when playing in Cedar City. The Hornets and Thunderbirds usually play close in Cedar City, as four of the five matches have lasted four sets or longer. Sacramento State lost in five sets a year ago (15-10 in the 5th).
• Overall, Sacramento State has won four of the last five meetings against the Thunderbirds.

Hornet Streaks

• Dating back to last year, the Hornets have won 18 consecutive regular season conference matches. The Hornets finished the 2016 season as winners of eight straight league contests.
• Of those 18 straight wins, 11 have come via three-set sweep.
• Overall this season, the Hornets have won 10 straight, and 16 of the last 18 games.
• The team is 10-0 in the Big Sky for the first time ever (2007 held the previous record of 8-0).
• The 10-game winning streak is the second longest for the Hornets in the last 10 years, trailing only the 2015 squad's 12-game streak. While the winning streak is a long one, its only tied for the 14th best winning streak in the storied history of the Sacramento State volleyball program. The school record for longest winning streak is 25 straight, set in 1989. The best winning streak in the program's Div. I era (1991-pres.) is 16 straight, set in both 1995 and 2005.
• Should the Hornets win twice this week, the subsequent 12-game winning streak would tie for the longest (2015) in the last 10 years.
• Sacramento State has won 22 consecutive home matches against Big Sky opposition, a streak which dates back to Sept. 24, 2015.

Winning Streak Numbers

• During the current 10-game winning streak, Sacramento State is averaging big numbers in kills (15.19), digs (19.14) and aces (1.72) per set. The team is also averaging 2.17 blocks per set.
• In addition, the Hornets have hit a very respectable .268 during the streak. To put things in perspective, opponents are averaging nearly two kills per set less than the Hornets (13.33).
• In 36 sets, Sacramento State has 62 aces, including a massive 17 from Kennedy Kurtz.
• The six-rotation outside hitter duo of Mikaela Nocetti (4.19 kps, 3.22 dps) and Shannon Boyle (3.17 kps, 4.83 dps) has been outstanding. Middles Brie Gathright (2.06 kps, .398 hit%) and Lana Brown (2.36 kps, .361 hit%) are both hitting for high percentages.
• Kurtz is hitting a ridiculous .487 (42-4-78) during the winning streak while averaging 1.17 kills, 12.36 assists, 0.47 aces, 2.61 digs and 0.56 blocks per set.

Hornet Notables

• Aided by the Hornets playing in a robust 103 sets this year, Sacramento State ranks among the top two teams in the nation in four categories, including first in digs (1,785), assists (1,329) and attacks (4,061). The team is also second with 1,412 kills. The Hornets are now 26th in digs per set (17.33).
• Setter Kennedy Kurtz, the national leader in assists with 1,148, reached the 5,000 career assist milestone last week. Her 5,034 career assists rank fourth in school history and fifth in Big Sky history. She needs just four assists to move into fourth place in league history as Idaho State's Courtney Davis (1993-96) currently holds that No. 4 spot with 5,038 assists.
• Senior outside hitter Shannon Boyle is closing in on the 1,000 kills/1,000 digs milestone. She currently has 962 kills and 956 digs.
Ruben Volta has used the same starters in every match: Boyle and Nocetti at outside hitter, Brown and Gathright in the middle, Kurtz at setter, Davis on the right side and Murdock at libero.