VOLLEYBALL CONCLUDES HOMESTAND THURSDAY VS MONTANA STATE, SATURDAY VS MONTANA

VOLLEYBALL CONCLUDES HOMESTAND THURSDAY VS MONTANA STATE, SATURDAY VS MONTANA

Full set of game notes (9 pages) - pdf
Big Sky Conference standings

The Week Ahead

• Winners of three straight, Sacramento State (11-11, 6-2) wraps up its season-high tying four-game homestand this week against the Montana schools.
• The Hornets will host Montana State (8-11, 3-5) on Thursday at 7 p.m. before hosting a Saturday matinee against Montana (8-12, 5-3) at 1 p.m. On Saturday, the athletics department is hosting a tripleheader that includes men's soccer playing at 3 p.m. and football playing at 6 p.m.
• Thursday is Breast Cancer Awareness, and Hornet players will be wearing pink items. Fans are encouraged to wear pink as well.
• Sacramento State is currently in a three-way tie for second place in the Big Sky Conference standings with Weber State and Idaho State. All three sit just a half game back of Idaho (7-2), who beat Eastern Washington on Tuesday night.
• The Hornets swept both Idaho State and Weber State last week to climb the standings. It was Idaho State and Weber State that began last week in a tie for first place.
• The defending Big Sky regular season champions, Sacramento State has won six of its last seven matches after opening league play with a five set loss at Montana on Sept. 20. In that match, the Hornets led, 2-0, in sets, and 18-15 in the third set before falling. Two days later (Sept. 22), the Hornets defeated Montana State in Bozeman in four sets.
• During the Hornets' current three-game winning streak, the team has swept each opponent. Prior to the winning streak, Sacramento State had swept just one opponent all season (UC Santa Barbara).
• The Hornets have won 28 straight regular season matches at home against Big Sky competition, a streak which dates back to the beginning of the 2015 season. The last regular season loss at home to a conference opponent came in the 2014 season finale to Southern Utah, 3-2, on Nov. 15, 2014.

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

• Montana State (8-11, 3-5), picked to finish eighth in the Big Sky preseason poll, has won two of its last three, including a road win at Southern Utah on Oct. 6.
• In one of the more dominant performances against any opponent, Sacramento State is 45-6 all-time against Montana State, good for a massive .882 winning percentage. In fact, the Hornets have won 12 straight, and 25 of their last 26 matches against the Bobcats. Dating back to 2004, the only win for Montana State in the series came in a three-set sweep in Bozeman on Oct. 15, 2010. One of those wins for the Hornets came earlier this year in Bozeman (18-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-21).
• The Hornets are 24-1 against Montana State at home, including 22 straight wins inside the Nest. The only MSU win in Sacramento came in five sets on Oct. 18, 1997.
• Montana (8-12, 5-3) is one of seven teams in the Big Sky with five league wins or more. One of those was a come from behind win against the Hornets in Missoula to open league play on Sept. 20. In that match, the Hornets won the first two sets, and held an 18-15 lead in the third.
• Sacramento State is 30-14 all-time against Montana, but the two teams have split the last 12 meetings. The Hornets own a 16-4 record when the two teams play in Sacramento. That incudes victories in five of the last six matchups inside the Nest.

Hornet Notables

• Due, in part, to numerous injuries this season suffered by Sacramento State players, head coach Ruben Volta has used seven different starting lineups. The lineup most often used (Nocetti and Davis at outside hitter, Brown and Gathright in the middle, Andrews on the right side, Olin at setter and Swinney at libero) has posted a 7-4 record this season.
• Sacramento State is 11-1 when posting a hitting percentage better than the opposition, and 0-10 when being outhit by the opponent. The Hornets are also 9-4 when hitting .200 or better.
• One of the top serving teams in the nation, Sacramento State is easily first in the Big Sky and seventh in the nation with 1.78 aces per set. The Hornets have three players ranking among the conference's top six players in aces per set, including Skyler Takeda (1st, 0.51), Ashtin Olin (5th, 0.36) and Mikaela Nocetti (6th, 0.34). Takeda's 0.51 average is also the 12th best mark in the country.
• The Hornets have posted double figures in team blocks on 12 occasions, and rank 31st in the nation with 2.56 blocks per set. Middle blocker Lana Brown's 102 total blocks are 14th most in the nation and Brie Gathright's 91 blocks are the 40th best mark.
• Outside hitter Mikaela Nocetti, who is the reigning Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week and leads the conference with 4.01 kills per set, currently has 1,102 career kills and 859 digs. She needs just 141 more digs to achieve the 1,000 kills-1,000 digs milestone.
• Middle Brie Gathright is hitting .361 over her last five matches, and is 10th in the Big Sky with a .305 hitting percentage in league. In addition, Gathright is four kills away from 500 in her career.
• Outside hitters Sarah Davis and Mikaela Nocetti both have 10 double-doubles this season. For Davis, its the first 10 double-doubles of her career. That includes double-doubles in two straight, and four of the last five matches.
• Middle blocker Lana Brown has hit better than .420 in five of the last seven matches, and has raised her hitting percentage in conference play to .343, the sixth best mark in the Big Sky. For her career, Brown has 511 kills, 294 blocks and a .312 hitting percentage.
• Setter Ashtin Olin is fourth in the Big Sky in assists (10.11 per set) and fifth in aces (0.34 per set).   Olin has set a Hornet offense that has hit better than .210 in seven of the last eight matches. The team's .232 hitting percentage in league play is third best in the Big Sky.
Skyler Takeda's average of 0.51 aces per set is not only the 12th best mark in the nation, but is easily the top mark in the Big Sky. Takeda, who also averages 2.46 digs per set, has 43 aces which includes at least one ace in eight straight, and 18 matches overall this year.
• Only three players have started all 22 matches this season - middle blockers Brie Gathright and Lana Brown, and outside hitter Mikaela Nocetti. Sarah Davis has started 20 times.
• In the Hornets' first matchup with Montana earlier this year in Missoula, rightside hitter Cianna Andrews had 10 kills, six blocks and a .421 hitting percentage.
• After Saturday, the Hornets will play five of their last eight Big Sky matches on the road.