Sac State volleyball misses out on postseason


Sophomore outside hitter No. 11 Sloan Lovett plays against the Idaho State Bengals at the Nest on Nov. 15.

Satchi Hover

Sacramento State’s volleyball team finished seventh in the Big Sky Conference, missing out on the Big Sky Tournament for the first time since 2011.

The Hornets needed to place sixth in the Big Sky or better in order to ensure a postseason berth.

Following Sac State’s five-set loss to Montana in the regular season finale, Northern Colorado claimed the sixth seed with a victory over Northern Arizona. 

Northern Colorado held the tiebreaker over the Hornets after each team finished at 10-10 in conference. Although the teams split the season series 1-1, the Bears won more sets in the two matches.

Sac State head coach Ruben Volta said the way the season ended was not what the team had envisioned.  

“It was certainly frustrating and players were visibly upset because it felt like we lost twice that night,” Volta said. “We lose and then about 20 minutes later NAU loses, so I think that realization hit the players and it was tough.”

Despite the fashion in which Sac State lost, Volta said he was proud of the way his players battled all season long.

“Even though we lost against Montana, I was proud of our competitiveness,” Volta said. ”I just liked the overall effort the team put out all year long.”

For the season, the Hornets finished with an overall record of 15-16 and 10-10 in the Big Sky.

The Hornets were off to the best start since 1995 when they won their first four matches of the season, winning the La Salle Volleyball Invitational Championship in Philadelphia. However, the 11-16 mark the rest of the way proved to be costly.   

Traveling was a struggle for the squad as it finished 7-11 on the road, including a six-match losing streak from Sept.10-21.

The end of the season also concludes the careers of  seniors: setter and co-captain Hannah Hettinga, right-side hitter and co-captain Kayla Beal, middle blocker Chelcy Motes and setter and defensive specialist Katie Aprile.

Volta said the seniors will be missed, but  he expects the younger players to step up next season.

“I think when certain players leave, that void gets filled,” Volta said. “Someone always emerges as a leader and I think it’s sort of the natural progression of a team.”

With the 2013 season over, Volta said there is plenty to look forward to.

“There’s going to be some challenges because we’re going to have a new setter come in, so we’re just going to have to see where we’re at,” Volta said. “I think the youthfulness of the team is going to be exciting and that will present some challenges, but they will be fun challenges.”