Volleyball Announces 2005 Schedule
June 27, 2005
LOGAN, Utah - Ten teams that participated in the 2004 NCAA Tournament, including the defending national champion, highlight the 2005 Utah State women's volleyball schedule that was announced on Monday by USU head coach Burt Fuller.
The Aggies will host five NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago, including in-state rival Utah on Sept. 6,defending Sun Belt champion New Mexico State on Sept. 22, and defending Western Athletic Conference champion Hawai'i on Nov. 9, along with matches against Idaho on Nov. 2 and Nevada on Nov. 19 to close out the regular season. In all, USU will play 10 matches at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, a venue where the Aggies have gone 46-20 over the last six seasons.
Other NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago on the Aggies schedule include Arkansas, Kansas State, St. Mary's, UC Santa Barbara and defending national champion Stanford.
"We play 14 matches against teams who participated in the 2004 NCAA Tournament and we are excited for the challenge," said Fuller. "We know the season is going to be competitive, but that's how you get better. You have to play good teams and I feel we have placed ourselves in position to see where we are."
Utah State will open the year at the Tulsa Invitational on Aug. 26-27, as the Aggies will face Fordham, Lamar and the host Golden Hurricane. USU will then play Arkansas, Nicholls State and Kansas State the following weekend at a tournament hosted by the University of Arkansas before opening its home season on Tues., Sept. 6 against the University of Utah.
Utah State will then travel to Brigham Young and Weber State before playing UC Santa Barbara, Stanford and St. Mary's in a tournament hosted by Stanford on Sept. 15-17. After playing 11 of its first 12 matches on the road, USU will then return home to face Idaho State on Mon., Sept. 19 before opening league play against New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech on Sept. 22 and 24.
The 2005 season will mark the first year of competition for Utah State in the Western Athletic Conference after spending the past 15 years in the Big West Conference. USU will play 16 conference matches on the year in a round-robin format with each school playing each other member institution both home and away.
"Our program, players and staff are looking forward to our first season in the WAC," added Fuller. "The WAC has grown to be an outstanding volleyball conference and with the additions of New Mexico State, Utah State and Idaho, I believe it will continue to grow."
Utah State returns six starters and nine letterwinners from last year's team that went 9-18 overall and finished in eighth-place in the Big West with a 5-13 league record. Among the players returning for USU is senior first-team all-Big West performer Zuzana Cernianska, Carolyn Forbush and Amanda Orgill who were both named to the Big West's all-freshman team during the 2004 season, and Beth Hodge who redshirted last year after being named to the Big West's all-freshman team during the 2003 season.