VOLLEYBALL TRAVELS TO FRESNO STATE TOURNEY FOR FINAL TUNEUP BEFORE CONFERENCE PLAY
Junior setter Hannah Hettinga is currently averaging 10.52 assists and 2.19 digs per set
Sacramento State, which enters the third week of the season with a 3-3 overall record, travels to Fresno this week to compete at the Fresno State Classic. The Hornets will play three times over two days at the Save Mart Center, including matchups on Friday against host Fresno State (7 p.m.), and Saturday against both Utah Valley (10 a.m.) and UC Davis (5 p.m.). The matchup against UC Davis will count towards the Causeway Cup, the annual all-sports competition between the two schools.
On paper, the two-day event appears to be an evenly matched tournament as all four teams have between two and four wins this season. Sacramento State is well acquainted with Fresno State and UC Davis, having combined to play the teams 96 times in school history. The Hornets will be facing Utah Valley for just the second time in school history.
Sacramento State will be playing in a tournament for the third straight week as the team opened with a 1-2 record at the College of Charleston Tournament in South Carolina, followed by a 2-1 record and second place finish at last week’s Sacramento State Invitational.
Fresno State is offering live stats (GameTracker) for each of the Hornets’ matches during the tournament. Links to GameTracker can be found on the far right column of Sacramento State’s online schedule. In addition, links can be found on Fresno State’s tournament home page.
THIS WEEK’S MATCHUPS
Sacramento State at Fresno State
Friday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m.
Save Mart Center - Fresno
Series Record: Fresno State leads, 18-10
Last Meeting: L, 3-1, at home - Sept. 2, 2011
Sacramento State vs. Utah Valley
Saturday, Sept. 8, at 10 a.m.
Save Mart Center - Fresno
Series Record: Utah Valley leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: L, 3-0, in Moraga - Sept. 17, 2011
Sacramento State vs. UC Davis
Saturday, Sept. 8, at 5 p.m.
Save Mart Center - Fresno
Series Record: Sacramento State leads, 50-18
Last Meeting: L, 3-2, at home - Sept. 13, 2011
- This week marks the final tuneups before the Hornets enter conference play at home on Thursday, Sept. 13 against Eastern Washington. With the expansion of the Big Sky to include new members North Dakota and Southern Utah, the Hornets will now play 20 league matches this year after playing 16 each of the previous six seasons. The Sept. 13 date will mark the earliest Sacramento State has begun the Big Sky portion of the schedule since joining the league in 1996.
- Senior outside hitter Jessie Genger continues to lead the Big Sky Conference in kills by a substantial margin with an average of 4.45 kills per set. The Kent, Wash., native has led or tied for the team lead in kills in all six matches thus far, and has been named to the all-tournament team at both tourneys the Hornets have participated. Genger has made a nice adjustment from rightside hitter where she averaged 1.34 kills per set last season to outside hitter in 2012.
- Senior outside hitter Janelle Currey (1,145 career kills and 1,374 digs) is now just 128 kills and 81 digs shy of becoming the fifth player in school history to rank among the program’s top 10 players in both kills and digs. Currey, who was named all-tournament at last week’s Sacramento State Invitational, also has 50 career double-doubles (kills and digs).
- Senior libero Sydney Kordic ranks among the conference’s top five players in both service aces and digs. The San Ramon, Calif., native and California High School product is first in the Big Sky in aces (0.67 per set) and fifth in digs (4.14 per set). Kordic has led the Hornets in digs in four of the six matches, and recorded at least three aces in half the matches.
- Sacramento State finished 13th in the nation last season in blocks with 2.76 per set. The team is averaging 2.90 per set this year, and boast three of the conference’s top nine players in blocks. That includes middle blocker Olivia Moss (2nd with 1.50 per set), rightside hitter Kayla Beal (T-4th with 1.19) and middle blocker Ashley Newcomb (9th with 1.10). The Hornets have outblocked all six opponents so far, and have reached double figures in team blocks on four occasions.
- Entering the season, junior setter Hannah Hettinga had never eclipsed 36 assists in any match during her career. She has already surpassed that mark on three occasion, including a season-best 45 against both Jacksonville and Boise State. The Boise, Idaho, native is fourth in the Big Sky with an average of 10.52 assists per set.
- Sophomore middle blocker Ashley Newcomb is hitting a team-high .386, the second best mark in the Big Sky. Newcomb, who redshirted last season, has hit at least .375 on four occasion, and has already set single-match career highs in kills (8), attempts (15), hitting percentage (.667), digs (4) and total blocks (7.0 on two occasions). The El Paso, Texas, native has committed just five attack errors all season.
- Rightside hitter Kayla Beal has hit better than .290 in four straight matches, raising her season hitting percentage to .258. When Beal tallies at least nine kills, the Hornets are 3-1.
- Sacramento State is 3-0 when winning the first set of a match, and 0-3 when dropping the first set.
- Though still very early in the season, the Hornets are hitting a respectable .237 as a team, which ranks fourth in the 11-team Big Sky. The last time Sacramento State hit better than .200 in a season was 2007 (.235), the same year the Hornets reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.