VOLLEYBALL PLAYS AT SANTA CLARA ON TUESDAY, DENVER TOURNAMENT ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

VOLLEYBALL PLAYS AT SANTA CLARA ON TUESDAY, DENVER TOURNAMENT ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

Full set of game notes (6 pages) - pdf
Big Sky Conference standings

The Week Ahead

• After opening the season last week with a 1-2 record at the Hornet Invitational, Sacramento State will play four times this week, all away from home.
• The Hornets open the week on Tuesday with a road matchup at Santa Clara at 6 p.m. Sacramento State will travel to Colorado later in the week to play in the two-day, four-team Denver Classic. The Hornets will take on McNeese State on Friday at 2 p.m. PDT, and will face both UC Santa Barbara (9 a.m. PDT) and host Denver (6 p.m. PDT) on Saturday.
• Sacramento State opened the 2018 season at home by defeating Utah State (3-1) and losing to both CSUN (3-2) and Arizona (3-1). The Hornets had a match point in the fifth set against CSUN at 14-13, but the Matadors would eventually prevail, 16-14, in the fifth.
• The Hornets' two home losses last week matched the output from all of last season when the team was 11-2 at the Nest. Sacramento State is coming off a season in which the team went 26-10 overall, 15-1 in league, and won the Big Sky Conference regular season championship.
• All four of this week's opponents played three times last week are a combined 5-7 thus far. That includes Denver (2-1), UC Santa Barbara (2-1), Santa Clara (1-2) and McNeese State (0-3).

This Week's Multimedia Options

• Tuesday's match at Santa Clara can be viewed live and free via video stream at TheW.tv. At the Denver tournament, Saturday's match against Denver will be televised live on Altitude (DirecTV channel 681). In addition, a video stream of Saturday's match against Denver will be provided for a fee. Both of the McNeese State and UC Santa Barbara matches will not have a video stream.
• Live stats will be available for every match of the season.
• Multimedia options (video, live stats) can be accessed to the right of each match on the volleyball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.

vs. This Week's Opponents

• Sacramento State will be seeking its first win against Santa Clara since the 2007 season. The Broncos are 20-11 all-time against the Hornets, and have won the last five meetings. The last Sacramento State victory came via three-set sweep in Sacramento in 2007. The Hornets are 3-9 when playing Santa Clara on the road and have dropped seven straight at the Leavey Center. The last Hornet win at Santa Clara came in four sets on Nov. 4, 1997.
• Friday's match will mark the first time Sacramento State has ever played McNeese State.
• The Hornets are 0-3 all-time against UC Santa Barbara with the last match coming vie three-set Gaucho win on Sept. 6, 2014.
• Saturday's match will be the first-ever meeting for the Hornets against Denver. The Pioneers are coming off a season in which they went 23-6 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament.

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 73-31 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's returners 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

• Defensively, Sacramento State has limited the opposition to a .154 hitting percentage. That includes holding Arizona, a member of the Pacific-12 Conference, to a .212 percentage. Sacramento State is also averaging a healthy 18.69 digs and 2.73 blocks per set. The Hornets have at least 79 digs and 11 team blocks in all three matches thus far. That includes 84 digs against Arizona despite the match lasting four sets.
• Of the 13 sets played this season by Sacramento State, only three have been close. Ten sets have been decided by seven points or more. The three close sets were 25-27 vs Utah State in the first set, 14-16 vs. CSUN in the fifth, and 28-26 in the third vs. Arizona.
• Sophomore Paige Swinney, who is playing as the team's libero for the first time this season, responded with 80 digs over three matches last weekend, good for an average of 6.15 digs per set. That average is the top mark in the Big Sky as she has tallied at least 21 digs in all three contests.
• Redshirt freshman setter Ashtin Olin currently has a well-rounded stat line of 1.38 kills, 9.15 assists, 1.92 digs and 0.62 blocks per set to go along with a .395 hitting percentage. On Saturday against Arizona, she was three kills shy of the program's first triple-double since the 2003 season.
• Junior Sarah Davis, who played rightside hitter a year ago, switched to the outside this season and has responded with averages of 2.15 kills and 2.92 digs per set through three matches.
• The Hornets are six wins shy of the 1,000th victory in program history (994-451, .688 winning%).
• Middle blocker Lana Brown has posted at least five blocks in every match (including seven on two occasions), and is currently fourth in the Big Sky with an average of 1.46 blocks per set.
• The Hornets have five true freshmen on the roster, and three of them (Paige Calvin, Hannah Chase and Claudia Wilson) all made their collegiate debuts last week.
• Sophomore Macey Hayden's 16 kills and 14 digs vs. CSUN were both career highs.