VOLLEYBALL HOSTS A PAIR OF MATCHES; SEEKS 1,000TH WIN IN PROGRAM HISTORY

VOLLEYBALL HOSTS A PAIR OF MATCHES; SEEKS 1,000TH WIN IN PROGRAM HISTORY

Full set of game notes (8 pages) - pdf
Big Sky Conference standings

The Week Ahead

• After splitting the first two Big Sky Conference matches of the season last week at the Montana schools, Sacramento State (6-10, 1-1) will play its first conference home matches of the season.
• The Hornets welcome Southern Utah (1-13, 0-2) to the Nest on Thursday, and Northern Arizona (9-6, 1-1) on Saturday. Both matchups will begin at 7 p.m.
• Sacramento State has not lost a regular season conference match at home since the 2014 season, a span of 24 straight home victories. In fact, the last regular season home loss to a Big Sky foe came against Southern Utah (3-2) on Nov. 15, 2014.
• Every player on the Sacramento State roster with the exception of Lana Brown, Brie Gathright and Skyler Takeda have never lost a regular season league match at home.
• Sacramento State began the defense of its 2017 Big Sky regular season championship last week with a five-set loss at Montana, and a four-set win at Montana State.
• A win Thursday would be huge milestone for Sacramento State Volleyball as the program currently owns 999 victories. That breaks down to a 999-458 record and a massive .686 winning percentage.
• The Hornets will be playing at home for the first time in two weeks, but the team has already accumulated seven home games this year (3-4).
• Beginning with Thursday's matchup against Southern Utah, the Hornets will play six of their next eight Big Sky games at home. Last year's team finished 15-1 in conference play and 8-0 at home.
• Three of the Hornets' 10 losses this season came at the Boise State Classic (Sept. 14-15), when the Hornets played without a true setter because of injuries to both setters on the roster.

This Week's Multimedia Options

• Every match the rest of the season will be aired live and free via watchbigsky.com and Pluto TV.
• In addition, live stats will be offered for every match the rest of the year.
• Multimedia options (video, live stats) for all Sacramento State matches can be accessed to the right of each match on the volleyball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.

vs. This Week's Opponents

• Sacramento State is 8-4 in a series against Southern Utah that began in 2012 when the Thunderbirds joined the Big Sky Conference.
• The Hornets have won three straight in the series, which includes a sweep of the Thunderbirds a year ago. Sacramento State is 5-1 at home against Southern Utah.
• The Hornets are 35-18 against Northern Arizona in a series that is littered with dominance by the home team. Sacramento State is 23-1 at home vs. NAU dating back to 1996, including six straight wins in the Nest. The only Lumberjack win in Sacramento came in five sets on Sept. 22, 2011.
• Conversely, the Lumberjacks have won nine straight meetings when playing in Flagstaff.

One Victory Shy of 1,000

• Sacramento State is just one victory shy of the 1,000th win in program history.
• The program is 999-458, which breaks down to an impressive .686 winning percentage.
• That includes a 579-340 (.630) record since joining the Div. I ranks in 1991.
• The Hornets have won two national championships, 19 conference titles, and have reached the NCAA Tournament on 20 occasions.
• The national titles came back-to-back seasons when the Hornets won the AIAW Div. III championship in 1980, followed by the NCAA Div. II national title in 1981.

A Misleading 6-10 Record

• Though the Hornets are 6-10, that record is extremely misleading when considering the amount of injuries the program has incurred, and the amount of close losses.
• Numerous players have been injured this season, including both of the team's setters. One of those setters (McKenna Smith) was lost for the year in August practices, and the other (Ashtin Olin) missed all three matches in Boise with a knee injury. Olin has since returned, but will play with a heavily wrapped knee the rest of the season.
• Libero Paige Swinney spends her days away from practice/games in a walking boot with a foot injury that she has been playing with a good portion of the season.
• The Hornets are also 0-4 in five-set matches this season, two of which have been decided by two points. Excluding the three matches at the Boise State Tournament in which the Hornets did not play with a true setter, Sacramento State has been swept just once (at Santa Clara).
• Every other match, the Hornets have had their chances, including last Thursday when they had a 2-0 set lead and 18-15 in the third before eventually falling in five at Montana.

Hornet Notables

• Late in the Montana State match, senior outside hitter Mikaela Nocetti notched her 1,000th career kill. Despite being in just her third season after transferring from Portland, she now has 1,002 career kills, becoming the 23rd Hornet in the last 35 years to achieve the milestone. After securing 273 kills as a sophomore, she posted 496 a year ago, and already has 233 this season.
• The Hornets' 168.5 blocks are the second best mark in the nation, and their 2.67 blocks per set rank as the 25th best mark. Lana Brown's 80 blocks are fourth most in the country and Brie Gathright's 69 stuffs are the 22nd best mark. Brown's 1.29 blocks per set rank second in the Big Sky.
• The loss to Montana (.158) on Thursday marked just the second time Sacramento State has lost when holding a team below a .200 hitting percentage. The Hornets are now 6-2 in those situations.
• Nocetti's 3.82 kills per set are the second best mark in the Big Sky, narrowly trailing first place Abby Garrity of Idaho State, who is averaging 3.91 per set.
• Due mostly to injuries, only three Hornets have started all 16 matches this season: Nocetti at outside hitter, and both Brown and Gathright at middle blocker.
• Sacramento State's 102 aces are 10th most in the nation, and the team has three players ranked among the top eight in the Big Sky in aces per set: Skyler Takeda is first with 0.54, Ashtin Olin is sixth with 0.35, and Nocetti is eighth with 0.31.
• During the Hornets' 24-match Big Sky home regular season winning streak, Sacramento State has outscored conference opposition by a wide margin in sets (90-16). Over that span, the Hornets have been taken to five sets on just three occasions.