VOLLEYBALL HOSTS TWO MATCHES THIS WEEK WITH OPPORTUNITY TO JUMP INTO FIRST PLACE

VOLLEYBALL HOSTS TWO MATCHES THIS WEEK WITH OPPORTUNITY TO JUMP INTO FIRST PLACE

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

The Week Ahead

• Winners of six of the last seven, and currently sitting in a two-way tie for second place in the Big Sky Conference standings, Sacramento State (14-12, 9-3) will play a pair of home matches this week on Thursday vs. Eastern Washington (8-16, 0-12) and Saturday vs. Idaho (16-8, 10-2). Both at 7 p.m.
• With only six matches remaining in the regular season, Sacramento State is tied for second with Northern Arizona, and both are just one game behind first-place Idaho.
• Saturday's match against Idaho looms large as it could be a battle for first place should Sacramento State beat Eastern Washington on Thursday. The Hornets are attempting to win the Big Sky's regular season championship for the second straight season.
• The Hornets had their season-high five-match winning streak snapped last week at Northern Arizona. Sacramento State and NAU, the league's other second place team, split the season series.
• Sacramento State has won 30 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.
• Overall, the Hornets are 9-4 at home this year, which includes a 6-0 record vs. Big Sky teams.
• Earlier this season, Sacramento State swept Eastern Washington in Cheney while falling to Idaho in four sets in Moscow.
• Of the Hornets' six matches remaining on the regular season schedule, three will come at home, including Senior Day on Nov. 17 vs. Northern Colorado. The top eight teams will play in the Big Sky Tournament Nov. 22-24 in Greeley, Colo.

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

• After beginning the season 8-3, Eastern Washington (8-16, 0-12) has fallen on hard times as the team has lost 13 straight dating back to its last win against Alcorn State on Sept. 14.
• Of the Eagle's 12 conference losses, eight have come via sweeps. The Hornets swept the Eagles in Cheney earlier this year, 25-22, 25-14, 25-11.
• Sacramento State has a 35-17 all-time record against Eastern Washington, which includes four straight wins the series. The Hornets are 22-5 record when the teams play inside the Nest.
• The Hornets and Eagles faced each other in the Big Sky Tournament championship match seven straight years from 2000-06 with the Hornets winning on six of those occasions.
• Since dropping two straight at Weber State and Idaho State in late September, Idaho has ripped off eight straight wins while outscoring those opponents, 24-4, in sets. The Vandals just completed a four-match homestand and will be playing on the road for the first time since Oct. 13.
• The Hornets are 4-4 all-time against Idaho, including a four-set Vandal win earlier this season in Moscow, 25-12, 21-25, 25-18, 25-17.
• Overall, Sacramento State has played Idaho just twice at home as the Vandals joined the Big Sky in 2014. The Hornets are 1-1 in those matches, including a three-set sweep in 2016.

Hornet Notables

• Outside hitter Mikaela Nocetti had her streak of 12 straight matches with double figures in kills snapped after she posted seven at Northern Arizona. Nocetti, who has 1,149 career kills and 888 digs, has tallied double digits in kills 22 times this year, and 67 times during her three-year career. One of the top players in the Big Sky, Nocetti currently leads the conference with 4.00 kills per set. In conference play, she is second with 4.33 kills per set.
• Due, in most part, to a plethora of injuries that hit the team hard 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 9-3 conference record.
• Sacramento State is 14-1 when posting a hitting percentage better than the opposition, and 0-11 when being outhit by the opponent. The Hornets are also 12-4 when hitting .200 or better.
• One of the top serving teams in the nation, Sacramento State is first in the Big Sky and 11th in the nation with 1.70 aces per set. The Hornets have three players ranking among the conference's top seven players in aces per set, including Skyler Takeda (1st, 0.47), Ashtin Olin (T-7th, 0.33) and Mikaela Nocetti (T-7th, 0.33).
• The Hornets have posted double figures in team blocks 12 times, and rank 42nd in the nation with 2.50 blocks per set. Middle blocker Lana Brown's 118 total blocks are 17th most in the nation.
Brie Gathright is hitting .411 over her last nine matches, and is sixth in the Big Sky with a .363 hitting percentage in league play. She hit .727 against Montana State, and .625 at Southern Utah.
• 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 (494) is looking to become the fourth Hornet on this year's team to have at least 500 career kills, and would join Nocetti (1,149), Brown (528) and Gathright (523).
• Brown has hit better than .350 in seven of the last 11 matches, and is hitting .340 in conference play, the seventh best mark in the Big Sky. For her career, Brown has 528 kills, 310 blocks and a .313 hitting percentage. If the season ended today, that career hitting percentage would be tied for the ninth best mark in school history.
• Olin is averaging 11.02 assists per set in conference play, and is setting a Hornet offense that is hitting .230 against Big Sky opposition (third best mark in the league). In fact, Sacramento State's offense has hit better than .210 in 10 of the last 12 matches.
• Takeda's average of 0.47 aces per set is not only the 11th best mark in the nation, but is easily the top mark in the Big Sky. Takeda, who also averages 2.47 digs per set, has 46 aces. She has posted at least one ace in 11 of the last 12 matches.                      
• Despite the last two matches resulting in three-set sweeps, libero Paige Swinney has combined for 36 digs. She is now averaging 4.19 digs per set, seventh best in the Big Sky.