VOLLEYBALL HOSTS 4-TEAM TOURNEY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY TO OPEN THE SEASON

VOLLEYBALL HOSTS 4-TEAM TOURNEY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY TO OPEN THE SEASON

Full set of game notes (pdf) - 7 pages

Hornet Invitational Home Page

The Week Ahead

• Sacramento State opens the 2018 season when the team hosts the two-day, four-team Hornet Invitational on Aug. 24-25. Four games will be played Friday, and two more on Saturday inside the Nest.
• The four-team tournament field consists of Sacramento State, Arizona, CSUN and Utah State. Each team will play twice on Friday, and once on Saturday.
• Games will be played at 10 a.m., noon, 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, and 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. Sacramento State opens the season vs. Utah State on Friday at noon, followed by a 7:30 p.m. matchup vs. CSUN. Saturday, the Hornets play Arizona at 1:30 p.m.
• Sacramento State is a combined 29-25 all-time against the tournament field, including 26-22 vs. CSUN (formerly Cal State Northridge), 2-0 against Utah State and 1-3 vs. Arizona.
• The Hornets will host two tournaments during the season's first three weeks as they also host the Sacramento State Invitational on Sept. 7-8.
• A total of seven different players could make their Sacramento State debuts this week, including five true freshmen and two redshirt freshmen.

This Week's Multimedia Options

• Beginning with this week's tourney, free live video will be available for all Sacramento State home matches via watchbigsky.com and Pluto TV channel 233.
• Live stats will be made available for every game of the tournament.
• Multimedia options (video, live stats) can be accessed to the right of each match on the volleyball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.
• There is a tournament home page that includes ticket information, tournament schedule and multimedia links located inside the volleyball page on hornetsports.com.

vs. This Week's Opponents

• Sacramento State is 2-0 all-time against Utah State, but hasn't played the Aggies during the Div. I era (1991-pres.). In fact, the two Hornet wins both came on neutral floors in 1983 and 1985 via two-set sweeps.
• In a series which dates back to 1981, the Hornets are 26-22 against CSUN. The Matadors have won four of the last six meetings between the two teams, including a three-set sweep of Sacramento State on Sept. 2, 2016, in Las Vegas. The two teams have not faced each other inside the Nest since a 3-1 CSUN victory on Sept. 3, 2011.
• Sacramento State is 1-3 against Arizona with the teams' last meeting resulting in a 3-0 Wildcat sweep on Sept. 9, 2016, in Las Cruces, N.M. The Hornets' lone win in the series came in four sets on Sept. 4, 1999. The two teams have never played each other in Sacramento.

Coming Off A 26-Win Season & Big Sky Regular Season Title

• Last season, Sacramento State finished with a 26-10 overall record, a 15-1 mark in the Big Sky, and won the program's first regular season conference crown since 2007.
• The Hornets, who had three winning streaks of at least six matches long, lost in the Big Sky Tournament championship game in five sets before qualifying for the National Invitational Volleyball Championship postseason tournament.
• The Hornets have won at least 20 matches three consecutive years, and have combined for a 72-29 overall record and 40-8 league mark over that span.
• Sacramento State welcomes back 10 returners (three redshirts) and four starters from last year's squad. Among this year'sreturners are starters at outside hitter (senior Mikaela Nocetti), rightside hitter (junior Sarah Davis) and middle blocker (seniors Lana Brown and Brie Gathright).
• Nocetti was a first team all-conference selection while Brown was a second team choice.
• Sacramento State will have to compensate for the losses of six seniors, including Big Sky MVP Kennedy Kurtz, who led the nation in assists a year ago. Also gone are outside hitter Shannon Boyle who was a first team all-league choice and libero Brigitte Murdock who was 13th in the nation in digs.

Hornet Notables

• The Hornets welcome back assistant coach Sarah Chlebana, who has spent 11 years on the Sacramento State campus. She was an assistant coach for the Hornets from 2008-14, before spending the previous three seasons at Fresno State (2015-17). Chlebana was a four-year starter for the Hornets from 1997-00 where she helped the team win four straight Big Sky championships.
• The program is just seven wins shy of 1,000 victories. Since volleyball became a sport at Sacramento State, the program has compiled a 993-449 overall record (.689 winning percentage).
• Recently, the Big Sky Conference announced there will be predetermined site locations for the 2018 and 2019 Big Sky Volleyball Tournament. Big Sky teams went through a bid process, and as a result, Northern Colorado will host the tournament this year, and Sacramento State will host in 2019. The Hornets hosted last year by virtue of winning the league's regular season title.
• Senior Mikaela Nocetti and junior Sarah Davis will serve as this year's team captains.
Ruben Volta has been named Big Sky Coach of the Year twice in the last three years (2015, 2017).
• 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.
• Despite entering just her third season with the Hornets, senior Mikaela Nocetti has the chance to join the 1,000 kills-1,000 digs club. Nocetti, who transferred to Sacramento State from Portland prior to her sophomore year, enters the season with 769 kills and 656 digs in a Sacramento State uniform. Last year, she finished 496 kills and 411 digs.
• Despite 10 returners, Sacramento State will field a young roster that features seven freshmen and three sophomores. In fact, underclassman (10) make up two-thirds of the team's roster of 15 players. Of the seven freshman, five are two freshmen and two are players that redshirted a year ago.