Hornets begin crucial homestand to keep playoff hopes alive

Satchi Hover

Coming off three consecutive losses, Sacramento State’s volleyball team is hoping to turn things around when it returns to Colberg Court this weekend.

After defeating Southern Utah on Oct. 31 in the first of four road matches, the Hornets dropped three straight to Northern Arizona, North Dakota and Northern Colorado. Sac State fell in straight sets in each loss.

The Hornets are currently sixth in the Big Sky Conference and are vying for one of six spots in the conference tournament.

With four matches remaining on its schedule, head coach Ruben Volta and his players are focused on addressing their recent struggles as they prepare for Idaho State (17-10, 11-5) and Weber State (7-23, 3-13).

“I thought we played really well in the first set at North Dakota and then things didn’t go well for us,” Volta said. “It’s hard to put a finger on one thing because so many things went wrong, but we certainly did not play good defense.”

After North Dakota hit .324 as a team, the Hornets allowed a season-high .446 percentage to Northern Colorado.

Senior setter and co-captain Hannah Hettinga emphasized the importance of getting back on track both mentally and on the court.

“Its about getting our mindset right and getting back to that feeling of being a team and being cohesive,” Hettinga said. “Defense is all mental and effort and its obviously a big part of our practice plan this week, it’s just keeping it going through the weekend.”

Idaho State, who is fourth in the Big Sky, is hitting .238 as a team this season and averages 13.8 kills per set.

Weber State is 10th in the conference and has hit .143 as a team while averaging 10.8 kills per set.

Volta said the team is not overwhelmed by the importance of the final four matches and is excited by the notion of playing at home again.

“We don’t want to worry about looking at what teams are doing behind us in the standings. We want to control our own destiny,” Volta said. “All I want to do is win matches the rest of the way. Its good to be back home and hopefully we can get something going this weekend.”

Play begins tonight at 7 p.m.