Sept. 14, 2009
LOGAN, Utah -
Complete Release in PDF Format
Release #4 9/14/09
KENT STATE MIZUNO OPEN
Sept. 18 * vs. Butler * 12:00 p.m.
Sept. 18 * at Kent State * 5:00 p.m.
Sept. 19 * vs. Robert Morris * 9:00 p.m.
Utah State will travel to Kent, Ohio this weekend to participate in the Kent State Mizuno Open. USU will begin the tournament on Friday, Sept. 18 with a pair of matches against Butler and Kent State at Noon and 5 p.m. (MT), respectively, before concluding the tournament on Saturday, Sept. 19 against Robert Morris at 9 a.m. (MT). USU will be facing all three opponents for the first-time ever.
LOOKING AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 6-3 on the season after going 4-1 last week with a loss to Utah (3-2), and wins against Idaho State (3-0), The Citadel (3-0), Wyoming (3-1) and Northern Arizona (3-1). USU is led by junior middle blocker Katie Astle who is hitting .372 and averaging 1.56 kills and 0.92 blocks per set, while fellow junior middle blocker Shantell Durrant is hitting .288 and averaging 1.74 kills and 1.26 blocks per set. Sophomore outside hitter Liz McArthur currently leads the team with 3.75 kills per set and is hitting .215. As a team, Utah State is hitting .231 on the season as compared to a .187 hitting percentage for its opponents.
AGGIES ON THE INTERNET
All of Utah State's home matches are available to watch live via the internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com. Fans can also follow all of the action on the internet via GameTracker, with up-to-date score and stats.
RANKING UTAH STATE IN THE WAC
As of Sept. 13, Utah State ranks second in the Western Athletic Conference in hitting percentage (.231), is third in assists (11.38), fourth in service aces (1.41), fourth in kills (12.46), fourth in blocks (2.47), and eighth in digs (11.37). Individually, junior libero Christine Morrill leads the WAC with 4.30 digs per set, while junior setter Chelsea Fowles ranks second in assists (9.95) and third in service aces (0.38). Sophomore outside hitter Liz McArthur ranks second in kills (3.75) and points (4.29), junior middle blocker Katie Astle ranks second in hitting (.367), and junior middle blocker Shantell Durrant ranks sixth in blocks (1.26) and 10th in hitting (.288).
McARTHUR NAMED MVP OF FIESTA BOWL TOURNAMENT; FOWLES AND DURRANT NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Utah State's Liz McArthur was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2009 Fiesta Bowl Tournament hosted by Northern Arizona University this past weekend as Utah State won the tournament championship by defeating The Citadel (3-0), Wyoming (3-1) and NAU (3-1). Utah State had two other players honored as Shantell Durrant and Chelsea Fowles were both named to the all-tournament team. Other members of the all-tournament team included Dani Bedore and JennaRae Jester of Wyoming, Lauren Campbell of Northern Arizona and Jessica Maas of The Citadel. McArthur hit .360 (43-11-89) during the tournament and averaged 4.30 kills, 1.00 digs and 0.60 blocks per set. Against Northern Arizona, McArthur recorded a career-high 23 kills to go along with six digs and three block assists. Durrant was named to an all-tournament team for the second time this year after being named to the Weber State Invitational all-tournament team. In the Fiesta Bowl Tournament, Durrant hit .353 (16-4-34) and averaged 1.60 kills and 1.70 blocks per set. Fowles hit .294 (9-4-17) during the tournament and averaged 9.36 assists, 1.00 digs, 0.82 kills, 0.45 service aces and 0.36 blocks per set.
UTAH STATE OFF TO ITS BEST START SINCE 2003
Utah State's 6-3 record to start the season is its best since the 2003 team also won six of its first nine matches. USU has also won four straight matches this year which is its longest winning streak since it won sixth straight in 2007.
Utah State will remain on the road next week as it begins Western Athletic Conference play at New Mexico State on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. (MT), followed by a match at Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. (MT).
RECAPPING LAST WEEK
Utah State went 4-1 last week as it lost to Utah (3-2) and defeated Idaho State (3-0) at home, followed by victories against The Citadel (3-0), Wyoming (3-1) and Northern Arizona (3-1) to win the Fiesta Bowl Tournament. Against the Utes, sophomore outside hitter Liz McArthur had 15 kills, while junior libero Christine Morrill had a season-high 28 digs. USU hit .126 (53-31-175) in the match as compared to a .237 (62-24-160) hitting percentage for Utah. Against the Bengals, McArthur had 14 kills as USU hit .327 (43-9-104) overall and held ISU to a .113 (29-17-106) hitting percentage. Junior outside hitter Lori Wilson-Beckstrom had a career-high 15 kills to lead USU against The Citadel as USU hit .440 (43-10-75) in the match and limited The Citadel to a .030 (19-17-66) hitting percentage. McArthur had 15 kills to lead USU against Wyoming as the Aggies hit .223 (44-17-121) and the Cowgirls hit .183 (53-29-131). Against NAU, McArthur posted a career-high 23 kills as USU hit .290 (61-21-138) overall as compared to a .187 (48-22-139) hitting percentage for the Lumberjacks.
AGGIES WIN FIRST PRESEASON TOURNAMENT SINCE 2005
Utah State's Fiesta Bowl Tournament Championship last weekend is its first since the 2005 season when USU won the Hurricane Invitational hosted by Tulsa University.
Butler is 8-5 on the season after defeating North Carolina Central (3-0) and Appalachian State (3-0), and losing at Winthrop (3-1) last weekend. The Bulldogs are led by junior outside hitter Jessica Wolfe who is hitting .273 on the season and averaging 4.79 kills, 2.70 digs and 0.67 blocks per set. As a team, Butler is hitting .247 on the season as compared to a .165 hitting percentage for its opponents. Butler returns five starters and nine letterwinners from last year's team that went 19-11 and finished in fifth-place in the Horizon League with an 8-8 conference mark.
SCOUTING KENT STATE
Kent State is 4-7 on the season after defeating Saint Peter's (3-0), Evansville (3-2) and Wright State (3-2) last weekend. The Golden Flashes are led by senior outside hitter Arjola Prenga who is hitting .258 on the season and averaging 4.90 kills, 4.24 digs and 0.62 blocks per set. As a team, Kent State is hitting .175 overall as compared to a .198 hitting percentage for its opponents. Kent State returns four starters and seven letterwinners from last year's team that finished with a 13-18 record including a 3-13 mark and a fifth-place finish in the Eastern Division of the Mid-American Conference.
SCOUTING ROBERT MORRIS
Robert Morris is 3-8 on the season after losing matches to Northern Iowa (3-1), Wisconsin-Green Bay (3-0) and Bowling Green (3-1) last weekend. The Colonials are led by junior middle blocker Amanda Graham who is hitting .380 and averaging 3.11 kills and 1.06 blocks per set. Overall, Robert Morris is hitting .172 on the season as compared to .264 hitting percentage for its opponents. The Colonials return four starters and nine letterwinners from last year's team that went 19-10 overall and finished in first-place in the Northeast Conference with an 8-0 league record.
VERSUS THE TOURNAMENT FIELD
Utah State will be facing Butler, Kent State and Robert Morris for the first-time ever this weekend.
UTAH STATE RETURNS FIVE PLAYERS WHO HAVE EARNED ALL-WAC HONORS
Utah State returns five players who have earned all-WAC honors as juniors Katie Astle (MB), Chelsea Fowles (S) and Christine Morrill (LIB) all earned second-team all-WAC honors in 2008, while sophomore Emily Kortsen (OPP) was named to the league's all-freshman team. Redshirt junior Danielle Taylor (MB) earned second-team all-WAC honors in 2007 before missing the 2008 season with an injury.
FOWLES & MORRILL NAMED PRESEASON ALL-WAC
Junior setter Chelsea Fowles and junior libero Christine Morrill were both named to the 12-person WAC preseason team in 2009. Fowles was one of just two setters named to the preseason team, while Morrill was the only libero listed among the group. Other players named preseason all-WAC in 2009 are Krista Altermatt (New Mexico State); Lindsay Baldwin (Nevada); Aneli Cubi-Ontineru (Hawai'i); Stephanie Ferrell (Hawai'i); Kelli Goodan (New Mexico State); Kylie Harrington (Nevada); Amber Kaufman (Hawai'i); Dani Mafua (Hawai'i); Anna McKinney (Idaho); and Kanani Danielson of Hawai'i who was named the preseason player of the year.
FOWLES FIFTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN ASSISTS
After recording 178 assists last weekend, junior setter Chelsea Fowles now ranks fifth all-time at Utah State with 2,526 assists. Fowles is now 92 assists shy of tying Stephanie Maurer (1984-87) for fourth-place with 2,618 career assists. Carrie Steverson (1988-91) holds the all-time school record with 3,942 career assists.
MORRILL RANKS SIXTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN DIGS
With 81 digs last weekend, junior libero Christine Morrill now ranks sixth all-time at Utah State with 901 career digs and is just 18 digs shy of tying Lori Sargent-McKnight (1996-1999) for fifth-place with 919 career digs. Kelsi Peterson (2003-06) holds the school record with 1,614 career digs.
DURRANT NAMED TO WEBER STATE INVITATIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Utah State's Shantell Durrant was named to the 2009 Best Western Canyon Pines Weber State Invitational all-tournament team as she helped USU to a 1-2 record as it defeated host Weber State (3-1), and lost to Gonzaga (3-2) and Utah Valley (3-1). Durrant, a junior middle blocker from American Fork, Utah (American Fork HS) hit .294 (24-9-51) during the tournament and averaged 1.85 kills, 0.92 blocks and 0.46 digs per set. Her best match of the weekend was against Gonzaga as she had a career-high 10 kills and tied her career-high with five block assists, while hitting .333 (10-3-21). Joining Durrant on the all-tournament team was Caitlin Cozad of Gonzaga, Caitlyn Anderson and Chelsea Bair of Weber State, and Chelsea Fa'alogo, Camie Manwill and Kayli Broadbent (MVP) of Utah Valley.
FROM THE STATE OF UTAH
Of the 15 players on Utah State's roster, 10 are from the state of Utah. Those 10 players from the "Beehive State" are juniors Katie Astle (Sandy), Shantell Durrant (American Fork), Whitney Mendivil (Pleasant Grove), Christine Morrill (Neola), Danielle Taylor (Springville) and Lori Wilson-Beckstrom (Provo), sophomore Liz McArthur (St. George), and freshmen Sami Brunatti (Draper), Shay Sorensen (North Ogden) and Josselyn White (Smithfield).
UTAH STATE RETURNS A LOT OF PRODUCTION FROM 2008
With six starters and seven letterwinners returning from last year's team, Utah State returns a lot of production in a lot of different areas. The following is a breakdown of what USU's returns and what it lost from the 2008 season.
Statistical breakdown of what Utah State returns in 2008.
Assists (1,097/1,167) 94.0%
Digs (708/1,315) 53.8%
Service Aces (74/141) 52.5%
Blocks (211/427) 49.4%
Points (656.0/1,615.5) 40.6%
Kills (473/1,255) 37.7%
#2 - Chelsea Fowles - Named to the WAC's all-preseason team in 2009 after earning second-team all-league honors in 2008... Ranks fifth all-time in school history with 2,526 career assists... Currently ranks second in the WAC with 9.95 assists per set and third in service aces (0.38)... Had a career-high seven block assists and a season-high 54 assists against Brigham Young... Hitting .276 on the season and averaging 1.19 digs, 0.65 blocks and 0.65 kills per set... Was named to the Northern Arizona all-tournament team.
#4 - Laurel Bodily - Recorded a season-high 11 digs against Idaho State and is averaging 1.78 digs per set.
#5 - Danielle Taylor - Earned second-team all-WAC honors as a sophomore in 2007... Had a season-high five kills against Idaho State... Hitting .231 on the season and averaging 1.00 kills and 0.36 blocks per set.
#7 - Katie Astle - Tied her career-high with 11 kills against Utah Valley... Hitting .372 on the season to rank second in the WAC... Averaging 1.56 kills and 0.92 blocks per set.
#8 - Kassi Hargrove - Has played in two matches and five sets thus far this year... Had a season-high 15 assists against The Citadel... Averaging 3.40 assists and 0.40 digs per set.
#10 - Shay Sorensen - Has played in two matches and four sets thus far this year... Had a season-high seven kills against The Citadel... Hitting .467 on the season and averaging 2.00 kills and 0.75 digs per set.
#12 - Emily Kortsen - Had a career-high 15 kills against Brigham Young... Has recorded double-digits in kills and digs three times this season... Posted a career-high 11 digs against Idaho State... Hitting .251 on the season and averaging 2.22 kills, 1.95 digs and 0.54 blocks per set.
#14 - Christine Morrill - Named to the WAC's all-preseason team in 2009... Ranks sixth all-time in school history with 901 career digs... Recorded a season-high 28 digs against Utah... Has posted 20-plus digs three times this year and double-digits in digs in all nine matches... Currently ranks first in the WAC with 4.30 digs per set.
#17 - Lori Wilson-Beckstrom - Had a career-high 15 kills against The Citadel and a career-high five block assists against Northern Arizona... Hitting .134 on the season and averaging 1.97 kills, 0.53 digs and 0.50 blocks per set.
#18 - Liz McArthur - Named the MVP of the Fiesta Bowl Tournament hosted by Northern Arizona... Recorded a career-high 23 kills against Northern Arizona... Tied her career-high with four blocks against BYU... Hit a career-high .625 (5-0-8) against The Citadel... Hitting .215 on the season and averaging 3.75 kills, 1.42 digs and 0.61 blocks per set... Currently ranks second in the WAC in kills and points per set (4.29).
#21 - Shantell Durrant - Recorded a career-high 11 kills and nine block assists against Brigham Young... Hit a career-high .857 (6-0-7) against Idaho State... Named to the Weber State and Northern Arizona Invitational all-tournament teams... Hitting .288 on the season and averaging 1.74 kills and 1.26 blocks per set... Ranks seventh in the WAC in blocks and 10th in hitting.
#23 - Josselyn White - Had a season-high 10 kills against Utah and five block assists against Idaho State... Hitting .094 on the season and averaging 1.05 kills and 0.57 blocks per set.