VOLLEYBALL HOSTS BIG HOMESTAND THIS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT
Currently in a tie for fourth place in the Big Sky Conference standings, the Sacramento State volleyball squad (11-12, 4-4) embarks upon one of just two remaining homestands this week. The Hornets will welcome both Northern Arizona (Friday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m.) and Northern Colorado (Saturday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m.) to Colberg Court.
At the midway point of the conference season, Sacramento State has just eight Big Sky matches left on the schedule, and two of the remaining four home contests will be played this week. The top four teams in the Big Sky reach the league’s postseason event which takes place in Portland, Ore., on Nov. 26-27.
Sacramento State is in a tie for fourth place with Idaho State, trailing Northern Colorado (7-1), Portland State (7-1) and Montana (5-3). There is a three-way tie for sixth place between Montana State, Northern Arizona and Eastern Washington who all have 3-5 records. Sacramento State has played each of the other eight teams in the conference once, and hope to reach the Big Sky Tournament for the 14th time since joining the league in 1996.
Sacramento State has been dominant at home, winning seven straight dating back to Sept. 4. Among those seven wins were conference victories over Eastern Washington, Portland State, Idaho State and Weber State. In fact, the Hornets are 4-0 against conference competition at home, but 0-4 when playing at other Big Sky venues.
Northern Arizona (7-11, 3-5) will enter Friday night’s match with a 1-6 road record, including 1-4 against Big Sky opposition. The Lumberjacks have dropped four of their last five matches, including three-set sweeps on the road at Eastern Washington and Portland State last week. NAU swept the Hornets earlier this year in Flagstaff by a 25-23, 25-21, 25-21 outcome. Sacramento State has still won 11 of the last 13 meetings between the two schools, and is 28-8 all-time against the Lumberjacks. The Hornets have never lost a match to NAU in Sacramento, posting a 16-0 record inside the friendly confines dating back to 1996.
Northern Colorado (16-5, 7-1) will enter Saturday’s match having won four of its last five matches. The Bears’ only conference loss this season came on the road last week at Portland State in five sets (15-10 in the fifth). Northern Colorado is 3-3 on the road this season, including 3-1 against conference competition. The Bears have won seven straight against the Hornets dating back to 2007, including a 3-1 victory in Greeley earlier this season. That marks Sacramento State’s second longest active losing streak against any team (the Hornets have dropped 10 straight to Stanford). The series between Sacramento State and Northern Colorado is now tied at 7-7, but the Hornets are 5-2 against the Bears at home.