Oct. 2, 2000
LOGAN, Utah - UP NEXT -- Utah State will hit the road this weekend against two top-20 opponents as the Aggies will play at No. 13 Long Beach State on Thursday before traveling to No. 17 Pacific on Saturday. All-time, USU is 6-20 versus the 49ers and 4-20 versus the Tigers. The Aggies have lost 16 matches in a row to both LBSU and UOP. The last time USU defeated Pacific was in 1980 and the last time the Aggies defeated the Tigers was 1982.
RECAPPING LAST WEEKEND-- Behind 25 kills from senior Melissa Schoepf (Georgetown, Calif.) and 23 kills from senior Amy Crosbie (Visalia, Calif.) Utah State won a thrilling five-game match over Cal Poly by final scores of 12-15, 11-15, 15-4, 15-10, 15-9. Schoepf also had a team-high 14 digs in the match and seven blocks. Crosbie added 12 digs, while fellow senior Denaie Mohlman (Shoreline, Wash.) hit .364 with 14 kills to go along with 10 block assits and eight digs. Junior Heather Olmstead (Carpinteria, Calif.) notched a career-high 22 digs in the match, while sophomore Hailey MacKay (Bountiful, Utah) had a career-high 10 kills. Against No. 9 UC Santa Barbara, Utah State controlled the match an disposed of the Gauchos in three games (15-12, 15-6, and 15-0). The senior trio of Crosbie, Mohlman and Schoepf accounted for 31 of the teams 40 kills in the match as Crosbie had a team-high 12 to go along with 13 digs and two blocks. Mohlman had 10 blocks and eight kills, and Schoepf added 11 kills. The Aggies had 16 team blocks and held the Gauchos to a -.017 hitting percentage for the match.
ON A ROLL -- Utah State has been on a roll as of late, winning its last 10 matches after starting the season with a 2-3 record. It is the longest winning streak for USU since the 1980 team won 15 matches in a row. Utah State has also won 25 of its last 32 matches dating back to last year, which is the best winning streak since 1980. The Aggies are also 15-5 in the Big West Conference in the past two years. That record trails only Pacific, who is 18-2 over the same period of time.
A LOOK AT LONG BEACH STATE -- The 49ers are currently tied for sixth-place in the Big West Conference with a 1-3 league mark to go along with a 9-4 overall record. Long Beach has lost conference matches on the road to UCSB, Cal Poly, and Pacific, and defeated UC Irvine at home. LBSU is hitting .289 on the year and limiting its opponents to a .161 hitting percentage. The 49ers are led by junior middle blocker Cheryl Weaver who is hitting .294 on the year and averaging 1.59 blocks per game. Sophomore middle blocker Elisha Thomas is hitting .375 on the season.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS -- Pacific is currently 3-1 on the year with an overall record of 10-3. The Tigers are hitting. 237 as a team, with freshman Jennifer Joines leading the club with a .367 hitting percentage. UOP's lone conference loss thus far has come at UC Santa Barbara. Pacific defeated the Aggies twice last season in three games, including a 15-9, 15-5, 15-13 win in the Big West Conference Championship match last November. The Tigers return two starters and nine letterwinners from that squad of 1999 that went 15-1 in league play and finished with an overall record of 32-3.
TWO TOP-10 WINS -- Utah State has had great success against top-10 opponents thus far this season as the Aggies disposed of BYU (ranked 10th at the time) in three games before defeating UC Santa Barbara (ranked ninth) this past weekend in three games. USU is 2-1 versus top-20 opponents this year, losing a five-game match to Kansas State.
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 233-102 (.696).
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 12-3 .800 4-0 Totals 11th year 233-102 .696
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 .634 winning percentage is second only to Marilyn McReavy and Mary Jo Peppler who had a .757 winning percentage at Utah State in six seasons.
BEST CONFERENCE START EVER -- With its 4-0 start to the conference season this year, Utah State is off to its best league start ever in the Big West. In fact, only the 1993 team started the season out 1-0, and every other team has lost its first match in conference play to open the season. USU is 15-5 in the Big West in the last two seasons.
UNDEFEATED VERSUS THE STATE OF UTAH -- Thus far during the season, USU is 2-0 versus the state of Utah with wins over BYU and Weber State in three games each. The last time USU has won more than one game versus the other Utah school's was back in 1990 when the Aggies were 2-2 with wins over Utah twice and losses to both BYU and Weber State. If USU defeats Utah later on this year in Logan, it would be the first time that the Aggies have gone undefeated versus the state of Utah since 1980.
ENDING OLD STREAKS -- Utah State has made a habit of ending some long losing streaks this season with its 12-3 start to the season. USU's first streak-stopper was a three-game win over BYU who had won 29 matches in a row versus the Aggies which dated back to 1981. Next on the list was Cal Poly who had won nine matches in a row over USU dating back to 1980 before losing in Logan this past weekend. And finally UC Santa Barbara's streak of 23 straight wins over the Aggies dating back to 1978 came to an abrupt halt on Saturday night with USU posting a three-game win. Next on the list will be a pair of 16-match losing streaks against both Long Beach State and Pacific.
VERSUS THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA -- California is considered by many to be the best volleyball state in the country with the best players. However, Utah State has had tremendous success against California school's thus far this year, as the Aggies are a perfect 4-0 versus teams from the Golden State. The last time an Aggie team won that many matches versus teams from California was all the way back in 1981 when that squad won six matches against teams from California.
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 (2,354) 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 1,229, while Mohlman is second all-time with 1,125. 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.