A Look at The Matches
The Sacramento State volleyball team will compete in the NCAA
Tournament for the fourth-consecutive season this week. The Hornets,
who received an automatic berth into the tourney after winning the
Big Sky Tournament on Nov. 18, will enter the NCAAs with a 21-11
overall mark including an 11-3 record over the team''s last 14
matches. Sacramento State will face host and No. 4-seed Santa Clara
in the first round this Thursday, Nov. 30, at approximately 7 p.m.
The winner of that match will square off with the winner of the San
Jose State/Long Beach State match Friday night at 7 p.m.
All three matches will be played at the San Jose Event Center
(located on the San Jose State campus) due to the reconstruction of
Santa Clara''s home facility, the Leavey Event Center. The Long Beach
State/San Jose State contest on Thursday will begin at 5 p.m., with
the Hornets and Broncos playing a half hour after the conclusion of
the first match.
Santa Clara, currently ranked No. 17 in the country, enters
the tournament with a 26-4 record. Like the Hornets, the Broncos also
received an automatic berth by winning the West Coast Conference
championship. The team was a perfect 9-0 at home this season with its
four losses coming on the road to Arizona, Pepperdine, UC Santa
Barbara and Stanford. Santa Clara defeated Sacramento State this
season, 3-1, on Sept. 12 in Hornet Gym. The loss to the Broncos was
just one of two home defeats the Hornets suffered all year.
Long Beach State, currently ranked No. 13, received a bid to
the tournament after going 22-7 this season including an 11-5 mark in
the Big West. The 49ers have won each of their last seven matches
including a 3-1 home victory over No. 2 Hawaii last Saturday to wrap
up the regular season.
San Jose State enters the tournament with a 22-9 overall
record. The Spartans, who finished 13-3 in the Western Athletic
Conference, have the unique advantage of playing on their home floor
for the tournament despite not being the host institution. The
Hornets defeated San Jose State in Hornet Gym earlier this season,
3-0, and have beaten the Spartans three-straight times spanning the
last six seasons.
Hornet Tournament History
Prior to this year, Sacramento State had reached the NCAA
Div. I Tournament each of the past three seasons. The Hornets have
gone as far as the second round of the tournament (1998) but were
defeated in the first round in both 1997 and 1999.
The Hornets made their first appearance in 1997 when they
fell to Pacific, 3-1, in the first round at the University of
Washington. In 1998, the team beat Houston, 3-0, in the first round
before dropping its second-round match to host Pacific, 3-0. Last
season, the Hornets lost their first round match to Minnesota, 3-0,
A Look at the Coaches
For the 25th-straight season, Debby Colberg controls the
Hornet sidelines. During her tenure, Colberg has posted a 650-227
record (.741 winning percentage) and has led the team to 11 league
titles and 19 postseason berths. Her 650 wins ranks 10th on the
all-time NCAA list among coaches with at least five years of Div. I
experience. For the third time in the last four seasons, Colberg was
named the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year. She has now been
honored as coach of the year six times and Region Coach of the Year
honors on four occasions.
Colberg came to Sacramento State in 1976 and finished 9-8 in
her first season. She captured her first league title in 1978 when
the team posted a 12-2 mark in the Golden State Conference. After two
third-place finishes in the Div. II playoffs, Colberg guided the
Hornets to the championships game in 1989. That season she was named
AVCA National Div. II Coach of the Year.
In addition to leading the Hornets to three-consecutive NCAA
Tournament appearances over the last three years, she has also had
the added responsibility of serving as the school''s athletic director.
Santa Clara is guided by second-year head coach Jon Wallace
who has posted a 47-15 record in his time with the Broncos.
Long Beach State is led by Brian Gimmillaro, who is currently
in his 16th season with the 49ers. The 1998 AVCA National Coach of
the Year has led Long Beach State to national championships in 1989,
1993 and 1998. Gimmillaro has posted a 447-104 record during his
tenure with LBSU.
San Jose State is coached by Craig Choate who has posted a
148-103 record in his eight seasons with the Spartans. In 11 years as
a collegiate head coach, Choate is 177-168.
Recap of the Big Sky Tournament
Sacramento State was crowned Big Sky Tournament champions for
the third time in four years with a convincing 3-0 (15-6, 15-13,
15-4) victory over Eastern Washington on Nov. 18. The Hornets
advanced to the championship match by defeating Montana State in the
semifinals, 3-2 (11-15, 15-6, 12-15, 15-9, 15-10).
Against EWU, the Hornets were led by Tasman Dwyer''s 17 kills
and six blocks while sophomore Jayme Wright added 12 kills. Freshman
Lisa Beauchene, who was named tournament MVP, finished with five
kills, 32 assists, 10 digs and one block. The Hornets, who erased
deficits of 10-0, 11-5 and 13-12 in game two, held the advantage over
the Eagles in virtually every category including kills (50-32),
hitting percentage (.206-.075), assists (39-28), digs (55-53) and
team blocks (9.0-7.0).
In the victory over Montana State, five Hornets recorded
double figures in kills led by Dwyer''s match-high 20. Beauchene
posted a triple-double (12 kills, 60 assists and 15 digs) while
junior Esther Rogers (17 kills, 17 digs) and Wright (15 kills, 17
digs) each added double-doubles. After trailing, 5-4, early on in
game five, Sacramento State ran off 11 of the next 16 points to
secure the victory. The win marked just the second time this season
the Hornets have come back from a 2-1 games deficit to win.
|2000 Final Big Sky Standings|
| || || |
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|Cal State Northridge||9-7||16-10|
A Look at the Hornets
AGAINST THE TOURNAMENT FIELDSacramento State has squared off with four of the 64 teams in this
year''s tournament field, going 1-4 in those matches. The team dropped
a pair of matches to Pacific while also falling to Santa Clara and
Michigan. The Hornets'' only victory against tournament teams came
against San Jose State.
BIG SKY HONORSSacramento State had four players named to the Big Sky
all-conference team. That number tied Northern Arizona for the most
players selected for the honor. In addition, head coach Debby Colberg
was named Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year for the third time in
the last four years.
Junior middle hitter Tasman Dwyer was one of three unanimous
first team selections after leading the Hornets in kills (417) and
total blocks (161). An honorable mention all-Big Sky selection last
season, Dwyer''s 1.45 blocks per game ranked second in the Big Sky and
her .286 hitting percentage was eighth-best. Dwyer was also one of
three Hornets named to the Big Sky All-Tournament Team.
For the second-straight year, senior outside hitter Sarah
Chlebana was a second team selection after leading the team and
finishing tied for fourth in the conference in digs (404 total, 3.64
per game). The fourth-year senior and team captain ranks second on
the Hornets with 331 kills.
Freshman setter Lisa Beauchene was one of just three freshmen
named to the all-Big Sky team, as she was a second team selection.
The Big Sky Tournament MVP led the team and finished fifth in the
conference in hitting percentage (.309) while also posting 168 kills,
1,192 assists and 64 total blocks.
Junior outside hitter Esther Rogers was an honorable mention
selection after finishing second on the team in digs (351) and tied
for eighth in the Big Sky in digs per game (3.19). An all-Big Sky
Tournament selection as well, Rogers finished tied for seventh in the
conference with 0.28 aces per game and ranked second on the Hornets
with 80 blocks.
* Since joining the Big Sky in 1996, Sacramento State has posted the best conference winning percentage of the league''s nine teams. The Hornets are 65-15 (.813) followed by Eastern Washington (58-22). Montana State (49-31), Northern Arizona (49-31) and Cal State Northridge (47-33) are the other schools with winning league records. Montana (33-47), Weber State (30-50), Idaho State (19-61) and Portland State (12-68) round out the field. The Hornets will be gunning this week for their fourth-straight Big Sky regular season title.
In addition to making the NCAA Tournament four-consecutive seasons,
the Hornets have also won the Big Sky regular season championship
each of the past four seasons. The team has won the conference
tournament three of the past four seasons (1997-98, 2000)...the
Hornets were the only Big Sky school selected to this year''s field of
64 after three teams from the conference had been selected in 1999
(Eastern Washington, Northern Arizona and Sacramento State)...if the
Hornets advance to the second round to face Long Beach State, it will
mark the first time the two teams have played since a 49ers'' 3-0
victory in 1977.
|Probable Starting Lineup||Notables|
|OH ||4 - Jayme Wright ||5-11, So. ||13 double-doubles (kills and digs) this year|
|MH ||7 - Tasman Dwyer ||6-0, Jr. ||417 kills, .286 hit%, 161 blocks|
|OH ||8 - Esther Rogers ||6-0, Jr. ||double-figure kills in 9 of last 13 matches|
|OH ||9 - Kelly Voeltz ||5-11, Jr. ||17 starts at outside hitter this year|
|S ||10 - Lisa Beauchene ||5-10, Fr. ||168 kills, .309 hit%, 1,192 ast., 64 blocks|
|OH ||11 - Sarah Chlebana ||5-10, Sr. ||team-leading 14 double-doubles|
| || || || |
|S ||2 - Kristi Lambert ||5-7, Sr. ||played in 19 matches (34 games)|
|MH ||3 - Kazmiera Imrie ||6-1, Fr. ||6 kills, 13 digs, 6 blocks vs. Montana State|
|S ||5 - Stephanie Gamst ||5-11, Fr. ||second on squad with 178 assists|
|OH ||6 - Ali Mathewson ||5-5, Fr. ||played in 10 matches (12 games)|
|OH ||12 - Alison Gahr ||6-2, Jr. ||has missed the past 20 matches with injury|
|DS ||13 - Stephanie Buie ||5-9, Fr. ||season-high eight digs vs. Maryland|
|DS ||15 - Olivia Thomas ||5-9, Fr. ||finished year with 31 aces, 222 digs|