VOLLEYBALL BEGINS 2013 SEASON ON SATURDAY IN PHILADELPHIA
Game Notes - 5 pages (PDF)
The Week Ahead
Sacramento State begins the 2013 season later this week when the team takes part in the two-day, five-team La Salle Invitational in Philadelphia. The Hornets open tournament play against Bucknell (8 a.m. PDT) and Lafayette (11 a.m. PDT) on Saturday, before facing both tournament host La Salle (6 a.m. PDT) and Fairleigh Dickinson (1 p.m. PDT) on Sunday. All matches will be played at Tom Gola Arena on the La Salle campus.
Sacramento State will be facing Lafayette, La Salle and Fairleigh Dickinson for the first time in school history while the Hornets are 1-0 against Bucknell, having beaten the Bison at home by a 3-0 score on Oct. 9, 2005.
This week's tournament also marks the first time in school history that Sacramento State will play in the state of Pennsylvania, and the farthest east the team has traveled since playing at the Big Orange Tournament in Syracuse, N.Y., in 2009. The Hornets will depart from campus early Friday morning, and return to Sacramento on Monday.
Sacramento State finished last season with a 12-18 overall record and an 8-12 mark in the Big Sky Conference. This year's roster is comprised of eight returners (including a pair of starters) and five incoming freshmen. The team will begin the season with two new starting outside hitters, two new starting middle blockers and a new starting libero.
La Salle is offering live stats for every match during the two-day tournament. No video stream is being offered. Live stats for each of the Hornets' matches are available by clicking here. Beginning with next week's Sacramento State Invitational, a free video stream will be offered for every Hornet home match. Links for all multimedia options can be found on the volleyball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.
Leading The Way
Fifth-year senior setter Hannah Hettinga and fourth-year senior rightside hitter Kayla Beal will share the team captain duties this year. The most decorated player on the team, Beal started all 30 matches last year and was a second team all-Big Sky Conference performer after averaging 2.69 kills and 1.12 blocks per set. Beal will likely be a full-rotation rightside hitter this season for the first time in her career. Hettinga has been the team's starter at setter each of the last two years and her 1,571 career assists rank ninth in school history. She finished the 2012 season impressively, tallying at least 44 assists in five of the last seven matches of the year.
Sacramento State will begin the 2013 season with two new starting outside hitters, two new starting middle blockers and a new starting libero. The Hornets lost seven players from a season ago, including five starters. The only returning starters are setter Hannah Hettinga and rightside hitter Kayla Beal. Middle blocker Chelcy Motes did start the final six matches of the 2012 season and will be one of the starting middles this weekend as well. Sacramento State will likely have two freshmen starting the season opener, comprised of outside hitter Morgan Stanley and middle blocker Courtney Dietrich. In addition, there is a chance that freshman Lexie Skalbeck starts at libero.
900 Within Reach This Weekend
Sacramento State has an opportunity to record its 900th win in school history this weekend. The program is 898-381 since its first year of volleyball, which is good for a .702 winning percentage. The Hornets have made 20 NCAA Tournament appearances, including back-to-back national championships in 1980 (AIAW Div. II) and 1981 (NCAA Div. II). The team has made 10 NCAA Tournament appearance since joining the Div. I ranks in 1991, but are looking to get back into the Big Dance for the first time since the 2007 season.
• Of Sacramento State's 13 players, eight are underclassmen (three sophomores, five freshmen).
• Should Sacramento State start three freshmen in a match this weekend, it will mark the first time that has happened during the Div. I era (1991-pres.). The team will likely start a pair of freshmen, and the last time that happened came during the 2010 (Kayla Beal and Katie Aprile) and 2008 (Kelsey Elston and Eryn Kirby) seasons.
• The Hornets have just three middle blockers on the roster, led by senior Chelcy Motes. The other two middle blockers are a redshirt freshman (Kendall LaVine) and a true freshman (Courtney Dietrich).
• After wearing jersey #10 last season, Motes switched to jersey #7 this season.
• Rightside hitter Kiley Mansfield will miss the year while recovering from a knee injury suffered midway through the 2012 season.
• Offensively, Sacramento State will likely use a more traditional 5-1 offensive attack after playing with 6-2 and modified 5-1 alignments the last few years.
• Whoever starts at libero for Sacramento State this weekend (senior Katie Aprile, sophomore Katelyn Ivy or freshman Lexie Skalbeck) will be making their first career start at libero in a Hornet uniform.
• The Hornets have three players from Colorado on the roster, comprised of middle blocker Kendall LaVine (Boulder), and outside hitters Sloan Lovett (Durango) and Morgan Stanley (Parker).
• In 2012, the Hornets easily led the Big Sky and finished 13th in the nation in blocks per set (2.90).
• Sacramento State has made 10 NCAA Div. I Tournament appearances, six more than any other current Big Sky Conference member.
• The Hornets added sand volleyball this past spring when the team began its inaugural season with a 3-2 victory over Cal on March 16. The Hornets are part of the Northern California Sand Volleyball Consortium, which includes Cal, Stanford, Saint Mary's, Pacific, San Francisco and Santa Clara. Sacramento State now has 21 intercollegiate sports with the addition of sand volleyball.