April 18, 2000

LOGAN, Utah - Utah State's head women's volleyball coach Tom Peterson announced Tuesday the 2000 schedule for the Aggie volleyball team. USU will play 29 matches on the season and host 11 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Among the opponents for the Aggies during the 2000 season will be two Final Four teams in Pacific and Long Beach State, and seven NCAA Tournament teams which include Kansas State, Brigham Young, Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara, and Utah along with the Tigers and 49ers.

Utah State will once again have 16 league matches, but will play each school in the conference twice during the 2000 season with the departure of Nevada to the Western Athletic Conference, and North Texas and New Mexico State to the Sun Belt Conference. Since the Big West expanded to 12 members before the 1996 season, each team played two matches versus the other five teams in its division and only one match per season versus the six teams in the other division rotating home sites annually.

"With the new alignment of the conference creating only one division, the league is going to be much more difficult to win," commented Peterson. "For us to compete with any of the seven teams on our schedule that competed in the NCAA Tournament last year our program is going to have to get better."

Utah State will open the season by playing at back-to-back tournaments at Washington State and Montana State before hosting Brigham Young on Sept. 12 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The Aggies will then play its next five matches on the road before hosting eight of its next 10 from late September thru mid-October. USU will then close the season by playing five of its last seven matches on the road. Along with BYU, the Aggies will host Utah on Oct. 10th and Pacific and Long Beach State on Nov. 2nd and 4th in the final two home matches of the year.

Utah State returns three starters and eight letterwinners from last year's team that went 14-12 overall and won the Eastern Division of the Big West Conference with an 11-5 league mark. Last year's team also set a new school record for most conference wins in a single season.



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