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Tuesday, April 27, 2021
By Sydney Roll, staff writer
Hey there, sports fans!

This week in sports, the men's golf team is currently leading in the Big Sky Tournament and talks meditation and mindfulness to prepare for the game. The new head coach for women's basketball gives his formal introduction to the campus community. Two players for the Hornet baseball team reflect on how their second-chance at a senior season affected their year. Watch women's sand volleyball celebrate the opening day of their new home court. Plus, our athlete of the week helped Sac State take the Big Sky Championship for women's golf, and more!

Sac State men’s golf team leads after first round of Big Sky Tournament

Sacramento State men’s golf team gears up for Big Sky Conference Men’s Golf Championship. Photo by Bob Solorio of Casey Leebrick on April 12, 2021 at El Macero Classic. Diego Tejada
Sac State's men's golf team handily took the lead in the first round of The Big Sky Championships in Boulder City, Nevada on April 25. The team also reflected on mindfulness and its relationship to the sport.

The team's coach, Kamden Brakel spoke about embracing the unpredictable nature of golf. Since each game may be played on courses with a completely different layout from the one before it, there is a level of zen acceptance that is practiced by some of the athletes. 

"If we treat it as something more important than it is, that’s where we get in trouble,” Brakel said. “So for us, the important thing is to make sure that we just play our own game, to go in it, feel comfortable, be calm and just play it one shot at a time.”

Find out how one player uses journaling, meditation and mindfulness to enhance his golf game

New Sac State women’s basketball coach Mark Campbell officially introduced

Mark Campbell and athletic director Mark Orr pose on stage Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at Sac State. Campbell was formally introduced as the next head coach for the women’s basketball team. 
Credit: Hornet Athletics
Mark Campbell, the new head coach of Sac State's women's basketball team, acquainted himself to the Sac State community via a virtual press conference held April 21. 

Campbell plans on bringing his own cultivated style and experiences to the Hornets, who are hoping for a turnaround after a lengthy series of losses. 

“I’m going to work incredibly hard, and our staff is going to work incredibly hard, to build a championship culture here,” Campbell said. "My stops at Pepperdine, my stops at St. Mary’s, stops at Oregon State, my stops at the University of Oregon, the last 13 years have prepared me for this opportunity.”

Read more about how Campbell plans to adapt to his new position

Senior baseball players Matt Smith, Ryan Walstad lead Hornets through abnormal season

Matt Smith and Ryan Walstad field for the Hornets at John Smith Field. Smith and Walstad are first and second on the team in batting average. (Photos by Deanna Sanchez.)
Diego Tejeda
Matt Smith and Ryan Walstad are among those athletes who were granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA in 2020 after their season was cut short by COVID-19. Neither player has let the opportunity pass them by, as they have both garnered an array of titles and accolades for themselves and their team throughout the 2020-2021 season.

“Seniors all around the world, not just the baseball world, but other sports, are entirely grateful that they gave us that year to finish our careers the right way,” Smith said.

Read about how a brush with disappointment lit a fire under these two second-chance seniors

Sac State beach volleyball unveils ‘Hornet Beach’ with ribbon-cutting

After four months of construction, Sac State held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new beach volleyball court April 16. Prior to the unveiling, the team commuted to a park in Folsom for their practices. 

"It's about letting the women have the same advantages, and the same playing areas and the same spirit as the men," said Sac State President Robert Nelsen. 

Watch how the team celebrated the grand opening of its new home court

Tess Blair

Women's Golf
Sophomore Tess Blair keeps her eyes on the ball after taking a swing March 2, 2021 at the Gunrock Invitational. Blair was named "Freshman of the Year" and "Player of the Year" by Big Sky Athletic Conference in her first season as a Hornet. Photo Courtesy of Hornet Athletics
Sophomore golfer Tess Blair has taken her second individual title in The Big Sky Tournament. The final game was won by Sac State, with Blair being the only player to score under par. 

Blair now has the distinction of being one of four women at Sac State to hold multiple individual titles in their careers, as well as being the first Big Sky individual medalist for Sac State since 2007, according to Sac State Athletics. 

Find out how the Hornets took the championship and where they go from here.
Friday
Softball vs. Idaho State 
Noon &
2:30 p.m.
Saturday
Men's Soccer
at Cal Poly
3 p.m.
Sunday
Baseball vs. Grand
Canyon
Noon
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