2018 VOLLEYBALL SCHEDULE RELEASED; HORNETS TO PLAY 16 HOME MATCHES

2018 VOLLEYBALL SCHEDULE RELEASED; HORNETS TO PLAY 16 HOME MATCHES

2018 Schedule
Printer Friendly Schedule (pdf)

SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento State released its 2018 indoor schedule today, which includes 32 regular season matches - 16 at home, 12 on the road, and four on neutral floors.

Highlighting the home schedule are a pair of non-league tournaments, including the season-opening Hornet Invitational which takes place Aug. 24-25. The tournament field includes the Pac-12 Conference's Arizona as well as Utah State and CSUN. The Hornets host another four-team tournament Sept. 7-8 when the team welcomes Nevada, UC Riverside and Seattle for the Sacramento State Invitational.

In all, the Hornets play seven non-conference matches at home plus nine games against Big Sky Conference opposition. The defending Big Sky regular season champions, Sacramento State finished last season with an 11-2 home record, including a perfect 8-0 regular season mark against Big Sky teams. In fact, the Hornets have won 24 consecutive regular season home matches against Big Sky opposition. Overall, Sacramento State was 26-10, including a program-best 15-1 mark in the Big Sky. The Hornets hosted last year's Big Sky Tournament where they fell in five sets in the championship match to North Dakota.

The team's season opener will mark the beginning of the Hornet Invitational where Sacramento State will play Utah State and CSUN on Aug. 24, followed by a matchup with Arizona on Aug. 25. The Hornets will then play four straight away from home, including a match at Santa Clara before traveling to Denver to face McNeese State, UC Santa Barbara and Denver on Aug. 31-Sept. 1.

Sacramento State then opens a season-high tying four-game homestand against Causeway rival UC Davis on Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. The Hornets will then welcome Nevada, UC Riverside and Seattle (Sept. 7-8) to the two-day Sacramento State Invitational.

The Hornets play the last of four regular season tournaments in Boise on Sept. 14-15 where they will take on Portland, Washington and Boise State. The matchup with Washington will mark one of two games on the schedule against members of the Pac-12 Conference.

Sacramento State will play 18 Big Sky matches this season after playing 16 the previous four seasons. North Dakota, the defending Big Sky Tournament champions, left the conference after the 2017-18 academic year. With North Dakota no longer in the league, each team will now play nine home matches and nine on the road. The Hornets will play every team in the conference twice except for Portland State (road) and Northern Colorado (home).

Each of the last four years, for volleyball, the Big Sky was split into two six-team divisions. With the departure of North Dakota, there will no longer be divisional play. Sacramento State had been in the South Division, winning each of the last two divisional crowns.

The Hornets open league play in Montana when they face the Montana schools on Sept. 20 (Montana) and Sept. 22 (Montana State). Sacramento State has won 11 straight matches against Montana State, and three straight against the Grizzlies. Similar to previous years, conference matches will take place on the traditional Thursday-Saturday schedule, except for one Tuesday game towards the end of the season.

The team's first home matchup against a conference team will come against Southern Utah on Sept. 27, followed by Northern Arizona on Sept. 29. It was NAU that dealt Sacramento State its only conference loss during 2017 regular season when the Lumberjacks won in five sets (16-14 in the fifth) in Flagstaff.

After road tilts at Idaho (Oct. 4) and Eastern Washington (Oct. 6), Sacramento State will play four straight at home against Idaho State (Oct. 11), Weber State (Oct. 13), Montana State (Oct. 18) and Montana (Oct. 20). The game against Montana State marks the midway point of the conference season.

Five of the Hornets' last eight matches of the regular season will take place on the road, including NAU on Oct. 25 and Southern Utah on Oct. 27. The final six matches take place during the month of November, including home games on the 1st (Eastern Washington) and 3rd (Idaho). After road tilts at Weber State, Idaho State and Portland State, the Hornets conclude the regular season at home for Senior Night on Nov. 17 against Northern Colorado.

New to the Big Sky format this season is a pre-determined site for the conference tournament. This year, the eight-team postseason tournament will take place in Greeley on Northern Colorado's home floor. Sacramento State hosted last year's tournament by virtue of winning the league's regular season championship.

The Hornets will return seven players, including four starters, and three redshirts from last season Big Sky regular season championship team. After narrowly missing out on winning the Big Sky Tournament, Sacramento State settled on a postseason appearance at the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC).

NOTES -- Sacramento State's annual Alumni Game will take place on Saturday, Aug. 18, at 1 p.m…three Hornet seniors graduated over the weekend, including Kennedy Kurtz, Hannah Meadows and Brigitte Murdock…Sacramento State had six seniors on last year's team, including Shannon Boyle, Erin Cochran and Julia Wright…head coach Ruben Volta is the reining Big Sky Coach of the Year…of the team's seven returners, two received all-conference recognition a year ago, including first team outside hitter Mikaela Nocetti and second team middle blocker Lana Brown…Sacramento State will welcome back three players that redshirted last season, including sophomore outside hitter Paige Swinney, freshman setter Ashtin Olin and freshman middle blocker Sarah Falk…the 15-player roster is rounded out by five newcomers.