Athletics News

Aug 08, 2018

SACRAMENTO — One year removed from a Big Sky Conference regular season championship, the Sacramento State volleyball program was selected to finish third out of 11 teams in the conference’s preseason coaches poll.Eleventh-year head coach Ruben Volta will oversee a roster that features 10 returners and four starters from a year ago when the Hornets went 26-10 overall, 15-1 in league and captured the program’s first Big Sky regular season title since 2007. The team was a perfect 8-0 in regular season home matches against Big Sky opposition for the third straight year, and eventually qualified for National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) postseason tournament.After splitting into a pair of six-team divisions each of the previous four seasons, the Big Sky will now be an 11-member conference. With the departure of North Dakota from the league, there will no longer be divisional play as Sacramento State had won each of the previous two South Division titles.Idaho received nine first place votes in the poll and assumed the top spot with 99 total points, followed by Northern Arizona (87 points, two first place votes) and Sacramento State (78). The Hornets combined for a 2-1 record against those two teams last year with the lone conference loss of the year coming in Flagstaff against NAU in five sets (16-14 in the fifth).Rounding out the final eight spots in the preseason poll were fourth-place Portland State (71) followed by Weber State (63), Northern Colorado (56), Idaho State (52), Montana State (34), Montana (28), Southern Utah (20) and Eastern Washington (17).This marks the second straight year Sacramento State has been selected third in the preseason coaches poll after being picked fifth in 2016. The Hornets have posted three straight seasons with at least 20 wins, combining for a 72-29 overall record and 40-8 league mark over that span.Among this year’s returners are starters at outside hitter (senior Mikaela Nocetti), rightside hitter (junior Sarah Davis) and …

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