Aug. 28, 2000
LOGAN, Utah - Release #1 * 8/28/00 at Washington State Tournament (#17 Kansas State, Rhode Island, Gonzaga, WashingtonS tate, Utah State)
QUICKLY -- Utah State will begin its 25th season of collegiate volleyball with an overall record of 372-497-8 (.432). The Aggies are coming off only its second winning season in the last decade with a 14-12 mark in 1999, including an 11-5 record in the Eastern Division of the Big West, earning its first-ever divisional championship. USU has produced seven All-American's in its history, one academic All-American, and a national championship in 1978, followed by a second-place national finish in 1979. Utah State has also had two players play professionally in Elaine Roque and Karolyn Kirby.
THIS WEEK -- Utah State will open the 2000 season this weekend (Sept. 1-2) at the Cougar Challenge hosted by Washington State University in Pullman, Wash. The Aggies will open the tournament and the season against Kansas State, who is ranked 17th in the country in the preseason AVCA Poll. All-time, USU is 0-1 versus the Wildcats, losing a three-game match (4-15, 11-15, 5-15) during the 1995 season at a tournament in Long Beach, Calif. Versus the rest of the tournament field, USU is 1-1 versus Rhode Island, 2-1 versus Gonzaga, and 2-2 versus Washington State.
SCOUTING THE TOURNAMENT FIELD -- Kansas State is the only team in the field that is ranked in the preseason Top-25, currently ranked 17th in the AVCA. KSU returns five starters and eight letterwinners from last year's team that went 21-9 overall and finished fourth in the Big 12 with a 14-6 mark. Rhode Island was 19-9 last season with a 13-5 record in the Atlantic-10 Conference, finishing in second place. The Rams return three starters and five letterwinners. Gonzaga was 6-24 overall and 2-12 in the West Coast Conference last year and return three starters and seven letterwinners from that squad. The host team, Washington State went 13-15 last season with a 7-11 league mark, placing sixth in the Pac-10. The Cougars return four starters and seven letterwinners.
BEST DUO IN THE BIG WEST-- Playing in arguably the best volleyball conference in the country, the Big West Conference, Utah State can make a claim this season that no other team in the league can. That statement, that current seniors Denae Mohlman and Amy Crosbie have more combined career kills (1,966) than any other active duo in the Big West. And keep in mind that the Big West has had 82 All-American's in volleyball in the last 17 seasons, an average of five per year. Crosbie is USU's all-time kill leader with 1,002, while Mohlman is second all-time with 964. Mohlman is also among the career Top-10 in the Big West in hitting percentage with a .346 clip, which is the eighth best mark in league history. Mohlman was a first-team all-league selection last season, while Crosbie was named to the second-team. Both were named to the league's all-freshman team in 1997, with Mohlman earning Freshman of the Year honors as well as being named all-first team that year as well.
HEAD COACH TOM PETERSON -- Tom Peterson is entering his second season as head coach at Utah State, after leading the Aggies to a divisional championship in his first season. Prior to USU, Peterson spent the previous three seasons at Salt Lake Community College, posting a record of 80-38, and 28-6 in the conference. Peterson also spent six years as head coach of the men's program at Penn State University, guiding the Nitnay Lions to a national championship in 1994 and five Final Four appearances. During his 10 year tenure as a head coach, he has an overall record of 221-99 (.691).
Year School Overall Pct. Conf. NCAA 1989 Penn State 16-10 .615 1st 3rd 1990 Penn State 20-12 .625 2nd ---- 1991 Penn State 28-6 .824 1st 4th 1992 Penn State 17-13 .567 1st 3rd 1993 Penn State 21-5 .808 1st 3rd 1994 Penn State 25-3 .893 1st 1st 1996 Salt Lake CC 22-13 .629 9-1 1997 Salt Lake CC 25-11 .694 7-1 1998 Salt Lake CC 33-14 .702 12-4 1999 Utah State 14-12 .538 11-5 ---- Totals 10th year 221-99 .691
PETERSON SECOND ALL-TIME-- With just one season at the helm of the Utah State program, head coach Tom Peterson recorded more victories than two other coaches at USU and has the second highest winning percentage of any coach ever at Utah State. Peterson's .538 winning percentage is second only to Marilyn McReavy and Mary Jo Peppler who had a .757 winning percentage at Utah State in six seasons.
CROSBIE RECORDS 1,000TH KILL -- Entering her senior season, outside hitter Amy Crosbie has already reached the 1,000 kill plateau. She reached the milestone in her final match of the season versus Pacific, as she tallied 11 kills in the match. Crosbie owns the school record in kills and needs 545 to enter the Top-10 all-time for the Big West Conference. Crosbie recorded 339 kills as a junior. Crosbie is also second all-time at USU in attempts.
1999 HIGHLIGHTS-- After starting the season 1-8, Utah State's volleyball team embarked on one of the most successful seasons in school history, culminated by a Eastern Division Championship. Along with setting new school records for conference wins, junior outside hitter Amy Crosbie set a new career record for kills, breaking the old mark held by Niki Connor-Philpot. Crosbie ended the season with 1,002 kills in her career, with one more season still remaining. Crosbie's 339 kills in 1999 were the ninth most in a single-season at USU. Denae Mohlman hit .343 which is second all-time for a single-season, and her 83 block assists are 10th best. Lori Sargent-McKnight had 1,028 assists on the year which is the eighth best single-season total ever at USU. As a team, Utah State hit .227 on the year, setting a new single-season record in that category, breaking the old mark of .205 set just last year. With USU's 11 conference wins last year, the `99 team broke the record of 10 conference wins held by the 1977, `78, and `79 teams. It's 14 wins were the second most in the last 13 years, and its 12 losses was the fewest since the 1979 team lost only five matches. The Aggies 8-2 mark at home was the best home finish since the 1982 team recorded a 11-2 mark at home.
PRESEASON COACHES POLL-- Utah State was picked to finish fifth in the Big West Conference according to the league's coaches. With just one division this year, each team in the BWC will play each other school in a round-robin format. The following is a list of the preseason poll.
1. Long Beach State (8) 80
2. Pacific (1) 72
3. UC Santa Barbara 64
4. Cal Poly 54
5. Utah State 45
6. UC Irvine 27
7. Boise State 26
8. Idaho 21
9. Cal State Fullerton 16