Conference ride bumpy for team

Paris Prado

Sacramento State women’s volleyball has had a bumpy ride in conference so far. The women are 0-8 in the Big Sky competition and 5-18 overall.

The squad is currently riding an eight-game losing streak, their longest this season and in the Big Sky. Only Southern Utah has the second longest losing streak in this year’s Big Sky Conference, also in the Southern Division, with a four- game streak.

The Hornets have been a his- torically good team at home. Last year, the women played their best in The Nest (8-5) and this year the team is 0-9. The Hornets have proven to play best at neutral grounds this year with a record of 4-3. Their away record is 1-6.

Coach Ruben Volta feels the biggest issue for the women is their lack of confidence. He stated their practices are very productive, but it takes experi- ence and courage to translate those skills from practice into matches.

“I think that we certainly have more to offer, but we don’t play as good in matches as I think we do in practice,” Volta said.

Junior outside hitter Lauren Aikels said so far this year the team has lacked the moment where everything needed to click. She said her team continues to improve, and it is just the little things that matter most at this point in season.

“I feel like we are a lot better than our record, and I feel like we’ve played in really close matches that we haven’t been able to just turn the light on and really push forward,” Aikels said.

Sac State’s volleyball team has eight games left in conference until the Big Sky Tournament begins. The women are not only last in their division of conference, but also last overall between both the North and South Divisions of the Big Sky Conference.

Freshman setter Kennedy Kurtz said her team is nowhere near satisfied with their current record. The team is frustrated because they know they have the ability to win. She said the women openly talk about where they are currently at and where they want to be.

“We talk about it just because right now we haven’t won a game in conference and that really means something to us,” Kurtz said.

Sophomore middle blocker Kendall LaVine believes the women possess all of the skills necessary to win and nothing but hard work is going to help get them there.

“Winning is a skill, losing is a skill, I know that we can be way better than not winning a single game in conference. And I know we all know that,” LaVine said.

Overall the Hornets have the worst record in conference. Montana State is the current last place team in the Northern Division, still ahead of Sac State with a record of 1-6.

LaVine doesn’t let the record affect her game. She uses it as motivation to push herself to do better.

“Personally, it makes me re- ally motivated. I want to see a number on that other side. I want to replace that zero so bad. And it has to be something that drives us,” LaVine said.

The Hornets are a historically successful team in the Big Sky as conference champions from 1997-2007. Last year, the program placed sixth overall in conference.

Kurtz said that because of Sac State volleyball’s historical success in conference, the team strives to live up to the years before them.

“We don’t want to get used to losing, that’s not an expectation. We can’t accept mediocracy,” Kurtz said.

In comparison to last year, the Hornets have a much low- er hitting percentage. In the Big Sky this year the women are hitting .000 in conference and .227 overall. Last year the women hit .400 in both conference and overall.

Volta agrees the team has improved at many things this season. He stated several times throughout the year how serving and passing are the two areas the Hornets needed to focus on and improve.

“I think their passing is getting better, I’m still not happy at where we’re at serving,” Volta said.

LaVine stated that after their most recent loss their coach inspired them to push themselves to never be satisfied with losing.

“Ruben said today, we have to hate losing more than [we love] winning a game,” LaVine.