VOLLEYBALL CONTINUES ROAD TRIP, HEADS TO TUCSON FOR GAMES ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

VOLLEYBALL CONTINUES ROAD TRIP, HEADS TO TUCSON FOR GAMES ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

Full set of game notes (pdf) - 7 pages

The Week Ahead

• Sacramento State will play its fourth tournament in as many weeks to begin the season, taking part in this week's Wildcat Classic, hosted by Arizona. The two-day, four-team tournament will see each team play three times over Friday and Saturday.
• The Hornets open the tournament on Friday with matchups against New Mexico State (12:30 p.m.) and Alabama State (4:30 p.m.), and conclude on Saturday at noon against Arizona.
• Sacramento State's match vs. New Mexico State on Friday will be the program's eighth straight away from home. The Hornets are in the midst of a 12-game road trip that does not see the team play at home during the entire month of September.
• Sacramento State, which has started three freshmen on three occasions this year, will bring a 3-7 record into the tournament. The Hornets' 3-7 record is the program's lowest 10-game mark since the 2008 squad was 2-8. Over the last four years, the Hornets combined for an 88-45 overall record.
• Arizona has won five straight and will enter the tournament with a 7-2 record. New Mexico State is 8-1, and Alabama State is 3-8.

This Week's Multimedia Options

• Video is being offered for all three Sacramento State matches at the tournament. The video stream against Arizona will be free, while the games vs. Alabama State and New Mexico State will be streamed via FloVolleyball (subscription required).
• Live stats will be made available for every game of the tournament.
• Multimedia options (video, live stats) can always be accessed to the right of each match on the volleyball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.

vs. Tournament Opponents

• All three of the Hornets' opponents qualified for the NCAA Tournament a year ago.
• The Hornets are 1-2 all-time against New Mexico State with the Aggies winning the last two meetings in 2006 and 2016. That 2016 matchup was a five-set New Mexico State win (16-14 in the 5th) in Las Cruces. Sacramento State's lone win in the series came in three sets on Nov. 11, 1995. New Mexico State is the defending Western Athletic Conference champions/NCAA Tournament participant, and was picked to finish first in the this year's WAC preseason coaches poll.
• Sacramento State has never played Alabama State, which is a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The Hornets are the defending SWAC champions and qualified for last season's NCAA Tournament. They were selected to finish first in the SWAC preseason coaches poll.
• Sacramento State owns a 1-4 record against Arizona, including a four-set loss last season in the Nest. The Hornets' lone win in the series came on the road in four sets at Arizona on Sept. 4, 1999. The Wildcats won 22 games a year ago and qualified for the NCAA Tournament. They were picked sixth in the volleyball powerhouse Pac-12 Conference preseason poll.

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

• Ten different Sacramento State players have started at least one match this season. The only constants have been the outside hitter position where both Sarah Davis and Macey Hayden have started every match. Cianna Andrews (middle blocker) and Kayla Subbert (rightside hitter) have also started all 10 matches. Ashtin Olin (6) and McKenna Smith (4) have both started matches at setter, Tiyanane Kamba-Griffin (6) and Sarah Falk (4) have both started at middle blocker, and Paige Swinney (9) and Michelle Taynton (1) have both started at libero.
• Sacramento State used a traditional 5-1 offense in its last game at UIC after employing a modified 5-1 offense using two setters in its previous four matches. The team used a traditional offense the first five matches of the year as well. Sacramento State has also dabbled briefly with a 6-2 offense in a pair of matches this year.
• With the modified 5-1 look, Sacramento State was starting three freshmen (setter McKenna Smith, rightside hitter Kayla Subbert, middle blocker Tiyanane Kamba-Griffin).
• By the time the Hornets conclude this week's tournament, Sacramento State will have played seven times in nine matches against teams that either qualified for the NCAA Tournament (6) or the NIVC (1) a year ago. Denver, Hawai'i, Murray State, New Mexico State, Alabama State and Arizona each made the NCAA Tournament in 2018 while Bradley qualified for the NIVC.
• 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 six.
Sarah Davis has recorded double figure kills in four straight and eight of 10 matches this year. The lone senior on this year's team, Davis is second in the Big Sky with 3.76 kills per set and has already been named all-tournament twice. She has combined for 69 kills over the last four matches, including a career-best 22 vs. Bradley.
Macey Hayden has posted double digit kills in five straight matches, averaging 2.95 kills per set over that span. She had recorded double figure kills twice in her first two years with the program.
• This week marks the final non-conference matches of the season as Sacramento State opens Big Sky Conference play next week at Eastern Washington (Sept. 26) and Idaho (Sept. 28).