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Big Sky Conference standings

The Week Ahead

• Winners of five straight and currently tied atop the Big Sky Conference standings, Sacramento State (13-11, 8-2) will hit the road this week after completing a perfect 4-0 homestand.
• The Hornets will travel to Northern Arizona (15-8, 7-3) on Thursday at 7 p.m., and Southern Utah (3-19, 2-8) on Saturday at noon PDT.
• Each of the Hornets' five victories during the current winning streak have come via three-set sweep. In fact, Sacramento State has not dropped a set since Oct. 4 in a 3-1 loss at Idaho.
• The Hornets swept both Montana State and Montana last week at home, giving the team 30 consecutive regular season wins at home against Big Sky opposition dating back to 2015.
• Sacramento State (8-2) is currently tied for first place in the conference standings with Idaho (8-2), but both Northern Arizona (7-3) and Weber State (7-3) are just a game behind in third place.
• The Hornets, who are the defending Big Sky regular season champions, defeated both Northern Arizona (3-2) and Southern Utah (3-1) earlier this season at home.
• Of Sacramento State's final eight regular season matches, five will come on the road. The Hornets completed a season-high tying four-match homestand on Saturday, and have not played on the road since sweeping Eastern Washington in Cheney on Oct. 6.
• Not only have the Hornets won five straight, the team has also win eight of its last nine after opening the Big Sky season with a five-set loss at Montana.
• Overall, Sacramento State has outscored Big Sky opposition in sets by a 27-10 margin. The Hornets' first five matches against the league were four or five setters, the last five have all been sweeps.

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

• Northern Arizona (15-8, 7-3) has won five of its last six matches, and has a 5-2 record at home. That includes a five-set win over eighth-ranked Florida in Flagstaff on Sept. 7.
• Including a five-set win earlier this year at the Nest, the Hornets are 36-18 against Northern Arizona in a series that is littered with dominance by the home team.
• NAU has won nine straight meetings against the Hornets in Flagstaff. Sacramento State's last win at NAU came on Oct. 22, 2009 in a four-set victory. Overall, the Hornets are 10-15 at NAU.
• Sacramento State is 24-1 at home vs. NAU dating back to 1996, including seven straight wins in the Nest. The only Lumberjack win in Sacramento came in five sets on Sept. 22, 2011.
• Southern Utah (3-19, 2-8) is coming off a week in which it upset Idaho State on the road in five sets, before falling in three at Weber State. The T-Birds are seeking their first home win (0-5).
• Sacramento State is 9-4 in a series against Southern Utah that began in 2012 when the Thunderbirds joined the Big Sky.
• The Hornets have won four straight in the series, which includes a four-set win earlier this year at the Nest. Sacramento State is 3-3 when playing the T-Birds on the road.

Hornet Notables

• On Monday, senior outside hitter Mikaela Nocetti received Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week honors for the second straight week. Since the league began giving out offensive and defensive player of the week awards separately in 2016, no player had earned the offensive award back-to-back weeks. One of the best players in the Big Sky, she leads the league with 4.08 kills per set, and has upped that mark to 4.57 kills per set against league opposition with a .277 hitting percentage. She has a current streak of 12 straight matches with double figures in kills.
• Due, in most part, to a plethora of injuries early in the season, head coach Ruben Volta had used seven different starting lineups through the first 14 matches of the year. That included playing three matches (at the Boise State Tournament) without a true setter. However, the team has continued to get healthier during league play, as evidence by the 8-2 conference record.
• Sacramento State is 13-1 when posting a hitting percentage better than the opposition, and 0-10 when being outhit by the opponent. The Hornets are also 11-4 when hitting .200 or better.
• One of the top serving teams in the nation, Sacramento State is easily first in the Big Sky and ninth in the nation with 1.76 aces per set. The Hornets have three players ranking among the conference's top seven players in aces per set, including Skyler Takeda (1st, 0.48), Nocetti (5th, 0.35) and Ashtin Olin (7th, 0.33). In league play, Nocetti (0.49) ranks first, and Brie Gathright (0.41) is third.
• 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 Gathright's 91 blocks are the 40th best mark.
• Gathright is hitting .395 over her last seven matches, and is now seventh in the Big Sky with a .342 hitting percentage in league play. That includes a career-best .727 mark (9-1-11) vs. Montana State.
• Outside hitters Sarah Davis and Nocetti both have 10 double-doubles this season. For Davis, its the first 10 double-doubles of her career.
• Davis (479) is looking to become the fourth Hornet on this year's team to have at least 500 career kills, and would join Nocetti (1,132), Brown (524) and Gathright (511).
• Brown has hit better than .350 in seven of the last nine matches, and has raised her hitting percentage in conference play to .348, the fifth best mark in the Big Sky. For her career, Brown has 524 kills, 303 blocks and a .314 hitting percentage.
• Olin is averaging 11.35 assists per set in conference play, and is setting a Hornet offense that is hitting .239 against Big Sky opposition (also the third best mark). In fact, Sacramento State's offense has hit better than .210 in five straight, and nine of the last 10 matches.
• Takeda's average of 0.48 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 2.43 digs per set, has 44 aces. She saw her streak of nine straight matches with at least one ace come to a close Saturday vs. Montana.
• On Monday, rightside hitter Cianna Andrews was named the Sacramento State Student-Athlete of the Week after averaging 2.67 kills and 1.50 blocks while hitting .393 last week.