Big Sky Conference standings
SACRAMENTO -- Senior Shannon Boyle led all players with 21 kills and 17 digs and Sacramento State hit .307 on the way to a 3-1 victory (27-25, 25-15, 23-25, 25-22) over Montana State on Thursday evening at the Nest.
With the victory, Sacramento State (21-8, 12-1) is now one win shy of clinching the program's first Big Sky Conference regular season championship since the 2007 season. The Hornets' magic number is down to one, and there are still three matches to play in the regular season. Tonight's win allows Sacramento State the opportunity to clinch on its home court against Portland State on Saturday at 1 p.m. Saturday will also be Senior Day as six Hornet seniors will be honored prior to the match for their contributions to the program. Sacramento State completes the regular season next week with a pair of games on the road.
Should the Hornets win the regular season title on Saturday or next week, they will host the Big Sky's eight-team postseason tournament Nov. 16-18. Sacramento State has not hosted the Big Sky Tournament since the 2007 season. The winner of the Big Sky's postseason event receives an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, a place the Hornets haven't been since 2007.
Sacramento State's 12-1 conference record is tied for the team's best mark after 13 games as the 1998, 2005 and 2006 squads also accomplished the feat. In addition, the Hornets have won 23 straight games at home against Big Sky opposition, and haven't lost at home to a conference team since 2014. Overall, dating back to last season, Sacramento State has now won 20 of its last 21 matches against conference competition.
The Hornets continued their dominance of Montana State, improving the all-time record against the Bobcats to 44-6, and 24-1 at home. That includes a streak of 22 straight victories over Montana State inside the Nest.
The Bobcats, who were coming off a 3-2 road win at North Dakota on Saturday, dropped to 8-14 overall and 4-9 in the Big Sky.
Sacramento State, which was hitting .449 with just three errors through two sets, finished the match with a .307 hitting percentage. All six Hornet starters had at least five kills and five of them hit better than .290. Still, Montana State didn't make things easy as Sacramento State was locked in three close sets during the match.
In the first set, Sacramento State saved a set point at 23-24 on a kill from Boyle. With the score tied at 25-25, the Hornets got a kill from Lana Brown and a Brigitte Murdock service ace to finally win. Sacramento State trailed, 18-13, in the set before closing on a 14-7 run to win, 27-25.
After the two teams split the next two sets to give Sacramento State a 2-1 lead, the Hornets held a 22-21 lead in the fourth set. However, Brie Gathright had a kill followed by a block to make things, 24-21. After MSU got a kill from Kiana Black to inch within, 24-22, Mikaela Nocetti ended things with a kill.
Sacramento State finished with 66 kills, 58 assists, three aces, 72 digs and 12.0 team blocks. The 12 blocks were tied for the Hornets' fourth best mark of the season. The two teams combined for five aces and 19 service errors (MSU 2 aces, 9 errors; SAC 3 aces, 10 errors). The Hornets finished with seven more kills than the Bobcats.
Boyle recorded at least 20 kills for the third consecutive match as the senior had 21 kills with just four errors in 53 attacks. In addition, the six-rotation outside hitter became just the 12th Hornet in the last 30 years (and first since 2012) to record 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs. She now has 1,026 kills and 1,004 digs.
Nocetti (15 kills, 12 digs) and setter Kennedy Kurtz (54 assists, 11 digs) also had double-doubles for the Hornets. Kurtz, once again, stuffed the stat sheet as the fourth-year senior also five kills, a .667 hitting percentage and six blocks. Three of those blocks for Kurtz came late in the first set when she helped spark the Hornets' comeback from an 18-13 deficit.
Brown had 12 kills, six blocks and a .455 hitting percentage, and fellow middle Gathright also had a big night with seven kills, four blocks and a .353 hitting percentage. Rightside hitter Sarah Davis had six kills, three blocks and a .294 hitting percentage. The Hornet starters Kurtz, Nocetti, Brown, Davis, Boyle and Gathright combined for all 66 of the team's kills. Murdock had 14 digs and defensive specialist Hannah Meadows added eight digs.
Five Montana State players posted double figures in kills, including Black who was nearly unstoppable. The senior middle blocker had 14 kills and a match-high .632 hitting percentage. That included just two errors in 19 swings.
On Saturday, Sacramento State seek its third straight season of an 8-0 record against Big Sky teams at home. The Hornets will play Portland State at 1 p.m. The Vikings (10-3), who beat Montana at home tonight, are currently just two games behind Sacramento State in the Big Sky's South Division. Seniors Kurtz, Boyle, Murdock, Meadows, Julia Wright and Erin Cochran will be honored prior to Saturday's game.
November 28, 2017 VOLLEYBALL OPENS NIVC PLAY TODAY VS UC IRVINE AT 4:30 PM
November 26, 2017 VOLLEYBALL OPENS PLAY AT THE NIVC ON TUESDAY AGAINST UC IRVINE
November 16, 2017 KURTZ NAMED MVP, VOLTA COACH OF THE YEAR, FOUR HORNETS NAMED ALL-LEAGUE
November 15, 2017 PARKING INFORMATION FOR THE BIG SKY VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
November 13, 2017 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS EIGHT-TEAM BIG SKY TOURNAMENT THURSDAY-SATURDAY
October 16, 2017 NOCETTI NAMED THE BIG SKY OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
October 5, 2017 IN BATTLE FOR BIG SKY SUPREMACY, VOLLEYBALL BEATS NORTH DAKOTA
September 28, 2017 VOLLEYBALL REMAINS PERFECT IN THE BIG SKY, POSTS 3-0 ROAD WIN AT MONTANA
September 26, 2017 WINNERS OF 8 OF THE LAST 10, VOLLEYBALL TO PLAY TWO ROAD MATCHES THIS WEEK
September 21, 2017 HOME WINNING STREAK AT 17 AFTER VOLLEYBALL TAKES DOWN WEBER STATE
September 20, 2017 VOLLEYBALL OPENS BIG SKY PLAY THIS WEEK WITH TWO MATCHES
September 16, 2017 VOLLEYBALL CONCLUDES NEVADA TOURNAMENT WITH 3-2 NAIL BITING LOSS TO MISSOURI
September 15, 2017 VOLLEYBALL HAS WINNING STREAK SNAPPED IN LOSS TO PEPPERDINE
September 14, 2017 VOLLEYBALL TRAVELS TO RENO FOR THREE MATCHES, BEGINNING THURSDAY AT NEVADA
September 14, 2017 WINNING STREAK AT 6 STRAIGHT! VOLLEYBALL DOWNS NEVADA ON THE ROAD, 3-1
September 12, 2017 FIVE WINS IN A ROW! VOLLEYBALL DOWNS SAN FRANCISCO, 3-1
September 11, 2017 KURTZ AND MURDOCK SWEEP THE BIG SKY VOLLEYBALL WEEKLY AWARDS
September 9, 2017 VOLLEYBALL WINS 3RD STRAIGHT, BEATS NORTHERN KENTUCKY, 3-1
September 9, 2017 VOLLEYBALL BEATS SEATTLE, 3-1, COMPLETES PERFECT TOURNAMENT
September 8, 2017 ANOTHER COMEBACK WIN FOR VOLLEYBALL, THIS TIME OVER BOWLING GREEN, 3-2
September 5, 2017 VOLLEYBALL STORMS BACK, KNOCKS OFF UC DAVIS ON THE ROAD, 3-2
September 2, 2017 VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO 10TH-RANKED BYU
September 1, 2017 VOLLEYBALL OPENS BOISE TOURNAMENT WITH 3-1 LOSS TO MISSOURI
September 1, 2017 VOLLEYBALL DROPS HEARTBREAKING 3-2 ROAD DECISION AT BOISE STATE
August 31, 2017 VOLLEYBALL TRAVELS TO BOISE FOR THREE MATCHES IN TWO DAYS
August 30, 2017 VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN HOME OPENER TO PACIFIC, 3-1
August 28, 2017 LANA BROWN NAMED BIG SKY OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
August 25, 2017 VOLLEYBALL OPENS SEASON WITH 3-2 VICTORY OVER UCONN
August 7, 2017 VOLLEYBALL SEASON ON THE HORIZON; PRACTICES BEGIN AUG. 8
June 10, 2017 VOLLEYBALL’S FINAL DAY IN CHINA; TWO MORE BLOGS
May 19, 2017 VOLLEYBALL RELEASES ITS 2017 SCHEDULE