Nov 06, 2018
The Week Ahead
• With just two weeks and four matches remaining in the regular season, Sacramento State (15-13, 10-4) will play twice this week on the road. The Hornets will play at Weber State (14-9, 9-5) on Thursday, and Idaho State (15-12, 9-5) on Saturday. Both will start at 6 p.m. PST.
• Currently in third place in the Big Sky Conference standings behind Idaho (12-2) and Northern Arizona (11-3), the Hornets will play three of their last four regular season matches on the road.
• The defending Big Sky regular season champions, Sacramento State saw its 31-match regular season home winning streak vs. Big Sky teams come to an end with Saturday’s five-set loss to Idaho. Had the Hornets won that match, they would have moved into a first-place tie with the Vandals.
• Despite Saturday’s loss, the Hornets have still won seven of their last nine contests, with all seven of those wins coming via three-set sweep.
• Two of those sweeps were at home against Idaho State (25-23, 25-21, 25-22) and Weber State (25-23, 25-16, 25-21) earlier this season in the Nest. Both Idaho State and Weber State are tied for fourth place with 9-5 records, just one game back of the third-place Sacramento State.
• The Hornets are 3-3 in Big Sky road matches with wins coming at Montana State, Eastern Washington and Southern Utah. Sacramento State has made just one Big Sky road trip the last four weeks, and that resulted in a loss to Northern Arizona (Oct. 25) and win over Southern Utah (Oct. 27).
• The top eight teams qualify for the Big Sky Tournament, which will take place Nov. 22-24 in Greeley, Colo. The Big Sky moved its tournament to a pre-determined site this year and next, and Sacramento State will host the postseason event in 2019.
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 season.
• 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 starting the year 6-1 in league play, Weber State has lost four of its last seven. The Wildcats are 4-2 against conference teams at home, which includes a win over Idaho on Sept. 27.
• Including the Hornets’ sweep of Weber State earlier this year in Sacramento, the Hornets are 38-10 all-time against the Wildcats. That includes seven straight wins in the series.
• Sacramento State is 16-5 when playing Weber State in Ogden, including eight wins in the last nine matchups at the Dee Events Center.
• Idaho State has won three straight, and even more impressive, each of those wins have come on the road over Eastern Washington (3-0), Weber State (3-2) and Northern Colorado (3-1).
• The Bengals are 3-3 at home against conference competition, but have lost their last two at home.
• Including the Hornets’ sweep of Idaho State earlier this year in the Nest, Sacramento State is 33-13 all-time against Idaho State. That includes six straight wins in the series.
• The Hornets are 14-8 when playing Idaho State in Pocatello.
• Saturday’s five-set loss to Idaho snapped an incredible 31-match regular season home winning streak vs. Big Sky opposition that dated back to the beginning of the 2015 season. The Hornets hadn’t lost at home during the regular season since a five-set loss to Southern Utah on Nov. 15, 2014. Prior to Idaho’s two wins this year against the Hornets, Sacramento State had not been swept in a season series by a Big Sky team since Southern Utah accomplished the feat in 2014.
• Outside hitter Mikaela Nocetti continues to make a run at the 1,000-1,000 club. The third-year senior currently has 1,171 kills and 917 digs. One of the top players in the Big Sky, Nocetti’s average of 3.90 kills per set is the second best mark in the league and she is just one one-hundredth of a percentage point behind the leader – Southern Utah’s Janet Kalaniuvalu (3.91 kps).
• One stat to always keep an eye on when it comes to Sacramento State volleyball…which team hits for a higher percentage. Amazingly, the Hornets are 15-1 when hitting for a higher percentage than their opponent, and 0-12 when the opponent hits for a higher mark.
• One of the top serving teams in the nation, Sacramento State is first in the Big Sky and 15th in the nation with 1.68 aces per set. The Hornets have three players ranking among the conference’s top nine players in aces per set, including Skyler Takeda (2nd, 0.46), Ashtin Olin (7th, 0.32) and Mikaela Nocetti (9th, 0.31).
• In 14 conference matches, Brie Gathright has hit above .300 on 10 occasions. That includes better than a .330 mark in five of the last six matches. She had a season-high 10 kills and a .409 hitting percentage against Idaho on Saturday. Her hitting percentage in league play (.368) is now the fourth best mark in the Big Sky.
• Speaking of Hornet middle blockers hitting for high percentages, Lana Brown‘s .366 percentage in league play is sixth best in the Big Sky. The senior has been especially brilliant of late, as she has gone 28 straight attacks without an error (spanning three matches) and has just one error in her last 54 swings (spanning six matches). During her three-match streak without an error, she is hitting .481.
• Sacramento State has gone six straight matches without recording double figures in team blocks, surprising for a team that has posted at least 10 blocks on 12 occasions this year. Still, the Hornets’ 2.47 blocks per set is third in the Big Sky and 45th among the 334 Div. I volleyball playing schools.
• Last week, Sarah Davis (518) became the fourth active member of the Hornets to record her 500th career kill, joining a list that includes Mikaela Nocetti (1,171), Lana Brown (539) and Brie Gathright (536). Davis has notched double figures in kills 14 times this year, and 21 times during her career.
• Rightside hitter Cianna Andrews has hit at least .375 in four of her last six matches, and has posted at least seven kills five times during that stretch. During the six-match run, she is averaging 2.00 kills and 0.80 blocks per set while hitting .291.
• Freshman setter Ashtin Olin is averaging 10.71 assists per set in conference play, and is setting a Hornet offense that is hitting .233 against Big Sky opposition (third best mark in the league). In fact, Sacramento State’s offense has hit better than .210 in 11 of the last 14 matches.
• Libero Paige Swinney has combined for 67 digs over her last four matches, averaging 5.15 digs per set over that span. Her overall average of 4.21 dps is eighth best in the Big Sky.
• Skyler Takeda added two more aces last week and is seventh in the nation with 48 aces.