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VOLLEYBALL BACK AT HOME, HOSTS SOUTHERN UTAH AND NORTHERN ARIZONA

VOLLEYBALL BACK AT HOME, HOSTS SOUTHERN UTAH AND NORTHERN ARIZONA

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

The Week Ahead

• Finally! After a 12-game road trip that spanned the entire month of September, Sacramento State will return home to play inside the friendly confines of the Nest.
• The Hornets (6-9, 1-1) will host Southern Utah (8-6, 1-1) on Thursday evening at 7 p.m., and Northern Arizona (9-5, 2-0) in a Saturday matinee at 1 p.m. Saturday's matchup vs. NAU is part of a home tripleheader on campus that features the men's soccer team taking on UC Davis at 3 p.m., and the football team playing Eastern Washington at 6 p.m.
• The Hornets have not played at home since winning of two of three matches at the Sacramento State Invitational on Aug. 30-31.
• Sacramento State went 4-8 on its 12-game road trip, but the team has won three of its last five matches. That includes a 3-1 win last Thursday at Eastern Washington to open Big Sky Conference play. The Hornets were up 2-1 in sets and had a 22-21 lead in the fourth set at Idaho before falling.
• Thursday's game will begin a stretch that will see the Hornets play seven of their next 10 games inside the Nest. Over the last four seasons, Sacramento State is 31-1 in Big Sky regular season home contests. In fact, the Hornets had won 31 straight until losing their final home match of the regular season to Idaho in five sets on Nov. 3, 2018.
• The Hornets have won at least 11 conference matches each of the last four years. That includes an 11-6 mark a year ago.
• Each team in the 11-member Big Sky will play 18 conference matches during the regular season, leading up the conference tournament Nov. 28-30 inside the Nest.

This Week's Multimedia Options

• Video will be offered for every match the remainder of the regular season as all conference matches are aired live and free via both Pluto.TV and watchbigsky.com. Both matches this week will be aired live on Pluto.TV channel 533.
• Live stats will be made available for every match the rest of the season.
• Reminder that multimedia options (video, live stats) can always be accessed to the right of each match on the volleyball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.

vs. This Week's Opponents

• Southern Utah will enter Thursday with an 8-6 overall record and a 1-1 conference mark. The Thunderbirds opened conference play last week with a home loss to Idaho State (3-0) and home victory over Weber State (3-2). The Thunderbirds are 1-2 when playing on an opponent's home floor.
• Northern Arizona is the defending Big Sky regular season and tournament champions, and was unanimously selected first in the preseason coaches poll. The Lumberjacks, who play at Portland State on Thursday night, are 9-5 overall and 2-0 in league play. They beat both Weber State and Idaho State in four sets at home last week. NAU, however, is 1-3 when playing on an opponent's home floor.
• The Hornets are 10-4 all-time against Southern Utah, including five straight wins in the series. The last Thunderbird win came in five sets in Cedar City on Oct. 13, 2016. Sacramento State is 6-1 when playing Southern Utah at home, including four straight wins inside the Nest.
• Sacramento State is 36-19 all-time against Northern Arizona, and is locked in a series that has seen the home team win each of the last 16 matches. In fact, the Hornets have won seven straight home games against NAU with the last loss coming in five sets on Sept. 22, 2011. Moreover, Sacramento State is 24-1 all-time against the Lumberjacks inside the Nest.

Hornet Notables

• Senior outside hitter Sarah Davis, who had a career-high 24 kills at Idaho on Saturday, continues to lead the Big Sky with an average of 3.83 kills per set. The team co-captain has tallied double-figure kills in nine straight matches, and 13 of 15 games this season. That includes six double-doubles and eight matches with over 15 kills. Davis has led or tied for the team lead in kills in nine straight, and 13 of 15 matches this year.
• Libero Michelle Taynton has posted at least 18 digs in three straight matches, and is averaging 4.46 digs per set over that stretch.
• Middle blocker Cianna Andrews has hit better than .380 in four of the last six matches, lifting her season hitting percentage to .273, the 10th best mark in the Big Sky. In addition, she has tallied double figures in kills three times in the last five matches after doing so once through the first 10 matches.
• Outside hitter Macey Hayden has at least six kills in every match this year, and has at least seven in each of the last 11 matches. She is second on the team in both kills per set (2.19) and digs per set (2.50). Hayden has three double-doubles and her 24 digs at Idaho on Saturday were a career best.
• Rightside hitter Kayla Subbert posted a season-high 11 kills in both matches last week, and in those two conference games, is averaging 2.44 kills per set to go along with a .320 hitting percentage.
• Setter Ashtin Olin has at least 32 assists in seven consecutive matches, combining for 323 assists during that stretch. The sophomore is averaging exactly 10.00 assists per set over that span, which includes a season-best 53 assists on Saturday at Idaho. Olin has posted double-figure digs on eight occasions, and has eight double-doubles this season (assists/digs).
• In Thursday's win at Eastern Washington, sophomore middle blocker Sarah Falk had a career-high eight kills to go along with five blocks and a .500 hitting percentage. She has hit better than .380 in three of her last four matches.
• Sacramento State had been 3-0 in five-set matches prior to Saturday's loss at Idaho.
• Including a season-high 92 digs against Idaho, the Hornets have lifted their average to 15.42 digs per set, which ranks as the fourth best mark in the Big Sky.
• Four players have started every match this season - outside hitters Sarah Davis and Macey Hayden, middle blocker Cianna Andrews and rightside hitter Kayla Subbert.
• The Hornets have started two players at libero this season - Paige Swinney and Michelle Taynton. Swinney has started nine matches at the position and currently ranks eighth in the Big Sky with 3.55 digs per set. Taynton has started six of the last seven matches at the position. In the six matches Taynton has started at libero, she is averaging 4.00 digs per set.
• Sacramento State logged 11,276 air miles during its 12-game road trip.
• Despite playing seven of their next 10 games at home, the Hornets are back on the road next week to play Idaho State and Weber State.