VOLLEYBALL TRAVELS TO CHICAGO FOR FRIDAY-SATURDAY TOURNAMENT

VOLLEYBALL TRAVELS TO CHICAGO FOR FRIDAY-SATURDAY TOURNAMENT

Full set of game notes - 7 pages (pdf)

The Week Ahead

• Sacramento State will travel to Chicago where the team will compete in the two-day, four-team UIC Invitational on Friday and Saturday. This will mark the Hornets' third tournament played during the first three weekends of the season.
• Sacramento State will play three times, including a game vs. Murray State on Friday at 2 p.m. PDT. The Hornets will play twice on Saturday, facing Bradley at 8 a.m. PDT and host UIC at 2 p.m. PDT.
• Sacramento State, which currently starts three freshmen, will bring a 3-4 record into the tournament after going 1-2 at last week's Rainbow Wahine Invitational in Honolulu. The Hornets lost to both Denver and 20th-ranked Hawai'i before knocking off Army in five sets.
• The Hornets' three opponents this week will bring a combined 10-9 record into the tournament, comprised of UIC (6-1), Bradley (2-4) and Murray State (2-4).
• Sacramento State is in the midst of a 12-game road trip that will see the team play away from home during the entire month of September. After opening the year by hosting a four-team tourney, the Hornets will not play at home again until Oct. 3 against Big Sky Conference opponent Southern Utah.

This Week's Multimedia Options

• Video is being offered for the Hornets' match on Saturday against UIC on ESPN+, but there will be no video offered for the Murray State or Bradley matches.
• Live stats will be made available for every game of the tournament.
• Multimedia options (video, live stats) can be accessed to the right of each match on the volleyball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.

vs. Tournament Opponents

• Sacramento State has played Murray State twice in school history, and both matches have resulted in four-set Hornet wins on neutral floors. That includes a 2011 victory in Nashville, Tenn., and a 2014 win in Valparaiso, Ind. Last season, Murray State finished 22-10, won the Ohio Valley Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
• The Hornets have never faced Bradley before. Bradley hails from Peoria, Ill., and is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. The Braves finished last season with a 24-9 record and advanced to the second round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC).
• UIC (formerly Illinois-Chicago) and the Hornets have played just once, resulting in a three-set Flames win over the Hornets in 2002 in Huntsville, Texas. UIC is a member of the Horizon League and finished last season with an 18-13 record.

Hornets Selected Third In Big Sky Preseason Coaches Poll

• Sacramento State was selected to finish third out of 11 teams in the Big Sky Conference's volleyball preseason coaches poll.
• The Hornets feature 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.
• Sacramento State was picked to finish third in the preseason poll for the third consecutive year. Since 2015, the Hornets have combined for an 90-47 overall record and a 51-14 league mark. That includes a Big Sky regular season championship in 2017.

Hornet Notables

• Sacramento State currently employs a modified 5-1 offense using two setters. Freshman McKenna Smith will set in the back row, and sophomore Ashtin Olin will set in the front row. Sacramento State has used this offense each of the last two matches after employing a traditional 5-1 offense the first five matches of the season.
• With the modified 5-1 look, Sacramento State is currently starting three freshmen (setter McKenna Smith, rightside hitter Kayla Subbert, middle blocker Tiyanane Kamba-Griffin). Joining them are a pair of juniors (outside hitter Macey Hayden, middle blocker Cianna Andrews) and the team's lone senior in outside hitter Sarah Davis. The team's libero is junior Paige Swinney.
• After winning the first set in each of its first four matches of the season, Sacramento State has dropped the first set in each of the last three.
Paige Swinney currently ranks second in the Big Sky with an average of 4.93 digs per set. She has at least 13 digs in all seven matches, and has posted at least 18 in five of the last six. That includes a season-best 27 vs. Nevada, and 25 vs. Army.
• After registering either six or seven kills the first five matches of the year, Macey Hayden has combined for 23 over the last two matches. That includes 12 kills, six digs and a .323 hitting percentage vs. 20th-ranked Hawai'i, and 11 kills and career highs in digs (17) and blocks (5) vs. Army.
Sarah Davis has accounted for 33 percent of the Hornets' attacks this season, and currently ranks fourth in the Big Sky with an average of 3.33 kills per set. She has posted at least 12 kills on five occasions, and now has 665 career kills.
• After registering between four and six kills each of the first five matches of the season, Kayla Subbert has 10 kills in each of the last two matches. That includes 10 kills for the rightside hitter in just three sets against 20th-ranked Hawai'i.
• The Hornets are 3-1 when limiting an opponent to a hitting percentage of .200 or less, and 0-3 when the opposition hits better than .200.
• Defensive specialist Michelle Taynton had 13 digs in the win over Army after combining for 12 digs through the first six matches of the year.
• The seven blocks registered by Tiyanane Kamba-Griffin against Army matches the most by a Hornet player this season - Cianna Andrews had seven against CSU Bakersfield.
• Usually one of the Big Sky Conference's best serving teams, the Hornets have just 28 aces this year (1.04 aces per set), and have not registered more than two aces in each of their last four matches.