Sept. 4, 2000
THIS WEEK -- Utah State will continue its tournament play as it travels to Bozeman, Mont., to participate in the Montana State Tournament. USU will open the weekend against Montana State on Friday night before facing Colgate and Oklahoma on Saturday. All-time, USU is 7-1 versus the Bobcats. It will be the first time ever the the Aggies will have played Colgate and Oklahoma.
LAST WEEK -- Utah State opened the 2000 season at the Cougar Challenge in Pullman, Wash., and recorded a 2-2 record. USU opened the tournament against Kansas State (ranked 17th in the country), and took the Wildcats to five games before losing 15-11, 11-15, 4-15, 17-15, and 7-15. Seniors Amy Crosbe and Melissa Schoepf led the Aggies with 18 kills apiece in the match. Utah State rebounded from the loss to KSU by defeating Rhode Island in three games (15-8, 15-4, 15-1) as Crosbie had 11 kills and Schoepf added 10. USU hit .405 in the match. Versusu Gonzaga, the Aggies again notched a three-game win (16-14, 15-6, 15-3) as Schoepf had a team-high 13 kills to go along with fellow senior Denae Mohlman's 11 kills. In the final match of the tournament, USU lost to host Washington State in four games (7-15, 15-13, 12-15, 8-15). In the match, Crosbie had a season-high 24 kills hitting .365 to go along with 16 digs. Junior Tanya McArthur had her best match of the season with 15 kills and 12 digs as she hit .229.
SCOUTING THE TOURNAMENT FIELD -- Oklahoma is the only team in the field that has yet to lose a match thus far in the 2000 season as the Sooners are 4-0 with wins over New Mexico State (3-1), Louisiana-Lafayette (3-0), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (3-0), and Lamar (3-2). Montana State is 2-1 on the year with wins over West Virginia (3-1) and Towson State (3-1). The Bobcats only lose of the season came to Radford (2-3). Colgate is 0-3 on the young season with losses to Temple, Ohio State and Seton Hall in three games.
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 (2,063) 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 1,064, while Mohlman is second all-time with 999. 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 plus year tenure as a head coach, he has an overall record of 223-101 (.688).
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 ---- 2000 Utah State 2-2 .500 0-0 Totals 11th year 223-101 .688
PETERSON SECOND ALL-TIME-- Entering his second season at the helm of the Utah State program, head coach Tom Peterson has the second highest winning percentage of any coach ever at Utah State. Peterson's .533 winning percentage is second only to Marilyn McReavy and Mary Jo Peppler who had a .757 winning percentage at Utah State in six seasons.
MOHLMAN CLOSING IN ON THE CENTURY MARK -- Four matches into the 2000 season, senior middle blocker Denae Mohlman is just one kill away from becoming the second-ever Aggie to notch 1,000 kills in a career. Mohlman trails only fellow senior Amy Crosbie in the all-time kills category at USU, as Crosbie has 1,064.
SCHOEPF NAMED TO THE ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM-- Senior outside hitter Melissa Schoepf was the only Aggie named to the 2000 Cougar Challenge All-Tournament Team as she had 60 kills and 37 digs on the weekend to go along with 13 blocks. Schoepf hit .264 over the weekend and had a team-high seven service aces.
THE THREE MUSKETEERS-- Utah State's senio rtrio of Amy Crosbie, Denae Mohlman and Melissa Schoepf have started the 2000 season with impressive numbers. Thus far, the three have combined for 157 of USU's 249 kills (.631), and 31 of the teams 65 blocks (.477). The last time one of the three did not led the team in kills was on Oct. 31, 1998 versus North Texas as Tiffany Kitley had 11 kills.
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