VOLLEYBALL SELECTED THIRD IN BIG SKY PRESEASON COACHES POLL

VOLLEYBALL SELECTED THIRD IN BIG SKY PRESEASON COACHES POLL

SACRAMENTO — Sacramento State was selected to finish third out of 11 teams in the Big Sky Conference's volleyball preseason coaches poll.

Head coach Ruben Volta, who enters his 12th season, will oversee a roster that features 10 returning players, including four starters from a year ago. Last season's team finished with a 16-16 overall record and an 11-6 mark in the Big Sky, which was good for a fifth place finish. That included a 10-5 mark at home, and a 7-1 record against conference foes inside the Nest.

Northern Arizona, the defending Big Sky regular season and tournament champions, was a unanimous choice to win this year's league title. The Lumberjacks finished with 100 points in the poll, followed by Weber State (89), Sacramento State (79), Northern Colorado (73), Idaho (59), Idaho State (55), Montana State (47), Portland State (39), Montana (30), Southern Utah (24) and Eastern Washington (10), respectively.

Sacramento State was picked to finish third in the preseason poll for the third consecutive year after being picked fifth in 2016. Over the last four years, the Hornets have combined for an 88-45 overall record and a 51-14 league mark. That includes a Big Sky regular season championship in 2017.

Among this year's returners are starters at outside hitter (senior Sarah Davis), rightside hitter (junior Cianna Andrews), setter (sophomore Ashtin Olin) and libero (junior Paige Swinney). Olin was a second team all-Big Sky selection as a redshirt freshman. Also returning are outside hitters Macey Hayden and Claudia Wilson, middle blocker Sarah Falk and defensive specialist Paige Calvin. In addition, setter McKenna Smith and outside hitter Kayla Subbert both redshirted last season, and will make their Hornet debuts this year.

The Hornets welcome six new players to the roster, five of which are true freshmen. The team's roster features 16 players, comprised of one senior, four juniors, four sophomores and seven freshmen (five true freshmen, two redshirt freshmen). The roster breaks down to seven players that could see time at outside hitter, four middle blockers, two setters and four defensive specialists.

The Hornets will host this year's Big Sky Tournament over the Thanksgiving holiday (Nov. 28-30), the second time in three years the program will host the conference's postseason event.

The Hornets open the season Aug. 30-31 when they host the two-day, four-team Sacramento State Invitational. The team will play twice on the 30th against Canisius (12 p.m.) and CSU Bakersfield (7:30 p.m.). Sacramento State will also play Nevada on the 31st at 1:30 p.m.

PRESEASON POLL - Total Points (First Place Votes)

1. Northern Arizona (10) - 100
2. Weber State (1) - 89
3. Sacramento State - 79
4. Northern Colorado - 73
5. Idaho - 59
6. Idaho State - 55
7. Montana State - 47
8. Portland State - 39
9. Montana - 30
10. Southern Utah - 24
11. Eastern Washington - 10