Sac State volleyball unbeaten in Big Sky after win over NAU


Thomas Frey - The State Hornet

Sacramento State sophomore outside hitter Sarah Davis, left, and junior middle blocker Lana Brown, right, go for a block against Southern Utah Thursday, Oct. 12 at Colberg Court.

Alex Daniels

The Sacramento State volleyball team defeated Northern Arizona University 3-1 to remain a perfect 8-0 in the Big Sky Conference Saturday at Colberg Court.

The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (7-12, 3-5 Big Sky) pushed Sac State (17-7, 8-0 Big Sky) throughout the four sets (25-23, 25-11, 22-25, 27-25) of competition but ended up only winning the third set against the Hornets.

The Hornets struggled throughout most of the match to establish dominance, but they were able to pull away from NAU at the end after an intense fourth set that went back and forth.

“We played really hard at the end,” said Mikaela Nocetti, the Hornets junior outside hitter. “We just knew towards the end that we were winning in four because you never know about that fifth set if you will come out on top.”

Nocetti had 21 kills with 22 digs, senior outside hitter Shannon Boyle had 14 kills with 21 digs and senior setter Kennedy Kurtz finished with five kills, 54 assists and 16 digs.

Throughout the game, the Hornets faced plenty of questionable calls — including balls that were called out but ended up being in. In addition, there were calls of interference with the net that could’ve gone either way.

“We had a little momentum shift on certain balls,” Kurtz said. “(Boyle) hit a really good deep ball in the fourth that really fired us up. Also, the coach yelling at the dumb refs, that definitely fired us up (as well).”

Sac State coach Ruben Volta said he was impressed with how his team responded against the the challenge that NAU presented on the court.

“All year this team has worked hard, and when those sets get close, we see them come out (victorious),” Volta said. “That’s the challenge of sports. If one team plays really well, the other team has to respond.”

The Hornets’ 8-0 conference mark is their best record to begin conference play since Sac State joined the Big Sky in 1996. The Hornets have won 16 straight regular season conference matches and have 22 straight conference home victories.

With eight regular season games remaining before the Big Sky Tournament, Sac State begins a three-game road trip that starts with Idaho (11-7, 6-1 Big Sky) Thursday in Moscow, Idaho.