VOLLEYBALL ANNOUNCES ITS 2012 SCHEDULE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State fifth-year head volleyball coach Ruben Volta announced the team’s 2012 schedule today.
The schedule includes 30 regular-season matches, including 13 at home, 13 on the road, and four at neutral sites. With the expansion of the Big Sky Conference to include new members North Dakota and Southern Utah, Sacramento State will now play 20 league matches this year after playing 16 each of the previous six seasons.
The Hornets open the schedule Aug. 24-25 when the team plays at a two-day, three-match tournament hosted by the College of Charleston. The Hornets open with Charleston on the 24th, before taking on both North Carolina State and Jacksonville on the 25th.
The Hornets welcome Boise State, Saint Mary’s and Morgan State to Colberg Court for the 10th-annual Sacramento State Invitational on Aug. 31-Sept. 1. The team then wraps up its non-conference tournament portion of the schedule when it travels south for the three-match Fresno State Classic on Sept. 7-8.
The Hornets open conference play with a pair of home matches against both Eastern Washington (Sept. 13) and Portland State (Sept. 15).
The matchup against Eastern Washington will mark the earliest Sacramento State has begun the Big Sky portion of the schedule since joining the league in 1996. The earlier start to Big Sky play was necessary because of conference expansion. In fact, outside of the three preseason tournaments and league play, Sacramento State will play just one midweek non-conference match all season (at Santa Clara on Oct. 16).
Sacramento State will play a season-long four-match homestand during the second half of league play, comprised of matches against Southern Utah (Oct. 25), Northern Arizona (Oct. 27), Northern Arizona (Nov. 1) and North Dakota (Nov. 3). In fact, Sacramento State will play six of its final eight matches of the regular season inside the friendly confines.
Between Sept. 20 and Oct. 22, the Hornets will endure an 11-match stretch that will see the team play just two times at home.
The Big Sky Tournament, which is expanding to six teams this year, takes place Nov. 23-24 in Greeley, Colo., with quarterfinal matches on Friday morning, followed by semifinal matches that evening, and the championship on Saturday evening. Only four teams reached the league’s postseason event the last three years before conference expansion moved the tournament field back to a six-team format, as it was from 1996-2008.
Nine players, including three starters, return from last season’s team which finished 17-15 overall and 10-6 in the Big Sky. The Hornets finished third in the conference before falling in the Big Sky Tournament semifinals to host Portland State.