Oct. 7, 2007
LOGAN, Utah -
Release #8 10/7/07
Oct. 13 * at Nevada * 8:00 p.m. Oct. 15 * #12 HAWAI'I * 7:00 p.m.
Utah State will continue Western Athletic Conference play this weekend as it travels to Reno, Nev., to face the University of Nevada (7-7, 4-3) at 8 p.m. (MT) on Saturday, Oct. 13. USU will then return home and host 12th-ranked Hawai'i (13-3, 7-0) on Monday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
LOOKING AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 9-8 on the season and in third-place in the WAC with a 6-2 league record following a three-game win against Louisiana Tech and a four-game loss to 22nd-ranked New Mexico State at home last weekend. USU is led by senior opposite side hitter Amanda Nielson who is averaging 5.64 points, 4.60 kills, 2.27 digs, 1.04 blocks and 0.49 service aces per game, while junior outside hitter Melissa Osterloh is averaging 3.92 points, 3.29 kills, 2.78 digs and 0.62 blocks per game. As a team, Utah State is hitting .159 on the season as compared to a .181 hitting percentage for its opponents.
UTAH STATE CONTINUES HOT STREAK
Utah State has won seven of its last nine matches since starting the season with a 2-6 record. During its current run, both of USU's losses have been against nationally ranked New Mexico State.
Nevada is 7-7 on the season and in fifth-place in the WAC with a 4-3 league record following a three-game loss at Hawai'i last weekend. The Wolf Pack, who is 2-4 at home this year, is led by senior outside hitter Teal Ericson who is hitting .219 and averaging 4.76 kills and 1.06 digs per game. As a team, Nevada is hitting .176 on the season as compared to a .185 hitting percentage for its opponents.
UTAH STATE-NEVADA SERIES HISTORY
Utah State is 8-16 all-time against Nevada, which includes a 1-10 record in Reno. The two teams split its season series in 2006 with USU winning in Logan in five games and UN winning in Reno in three games.
Hawai'i is 13-3 on the season and in first-place in the WAC with a 7-0 league record following a pair of three-game wins against Nevada and Fresno State at home last weekend. The Rainbow Wahine, who are ranked 12th in the latest AVCA coaches poll, are led by junior outside hitter Jamie Houston who is hitting .232 and averaging 5.22 kills and 2.35 digs per game. As a team, Hawai'i is hitting .216 on the season as compared to a .194 hitting percentage for its opponents.
UTAH STATE-HAWAI'I SERIES HISTORY
Utah State is 7-33 all-time against Hawai'i, which includes a 4-10 home record. Overall, USU has lost 19 straight matches against Hawai'i. The last time the Aggies defeated the Rainbow Wahine was on Nov. 12, 1981 in Logan in five games.
Utah State will play three matches during the week as it hosts 12th-ranked Hawai'i on Monday Oct. 15 and Idaho on Thursday, Oct. 18, before traveling to Boise State for a match on Saturday, Oct. 20.
RECAPPING LAST WEEKEND
Utah State recorded a 1-1 record in WAC play last weekend with a three-game win against Louisiana Tech and a four-game loss to 22nd-ranked New Mexico State. Senior outside hitter Monarisa Ale led USU with a career-high tying 14 kills against NMSU as she hit .448 (14-1-29) in the match to go along with seven blocks and six digs. Against Louisiana Tech, sophomore middle blocker Danielle Taylor had eight kills and hit a team-high .438 (8-1-16), while senior outside hitter Amanda Nielson added 14 kills and nine digs.
AGGIES START LEAGUE PLAY WITH 6-2 RECORD
Utah State has started Western Athletic Conference play with a 6-2 record, which is its best start to a league season since 2001 when that team started conference play with a 7-1 league record. Overall, it is just the third time since the 1984 season that USU has begun league play with at least a 6-2 record.
UTAH STATE ON THE ROAD
Utah State is 40-62 (.392) on the road over the last eight years, which includes a 25-39 (.391) record against league opponents. Thus far this year, USU is 4-3 in road matches.
UTAH STATE IN THE DEE GLEN SMITH SPECTRUM
Over the last eight years, Utah State is 62-27 (.697) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, which includes a 49-23 (.681) record against conference opponents. During the last three years, USU is 15-5 (.750) at home against WAC opponents, which includes a 3-1 record this year.
RANKING UTAH STATE IN THE WAC
As of Oct. 7, Utah State ranks first in the Western Athletic Conference in service aces per game (1.64) and first in blocks per game (3.10). Individually, Amanda Nielson ranks first in service aces per game (0.49), while Melissa Larson ranks first in blocks per game (1.50). Nielson also ranks third in points per game (5.64) and fourth in kills per game (4.60). Other Aggies who rank in the top-10 in the WAC include Chelsea Fowles who ranks fourth in assists (11.30) and 10th in service aces (0.30), Melissa Osterloh who ranks sixth in service aces (0.31), Christine Morrill who ranks eighth in digs (3.89) and Jessalyn Payne who ranks ninth in service aces per game (0.30).
NIELSON AMONG THE NATIONAL LEADERS IN KILLS
Senior opposite side hitter Amanda Nielson ranks 35th in the nation with 4.69 kills per game. Nielson also ranked 59th in the nation last week with 0.54 service aces per game.
UTAH STATE LEADING THE WAC IN BLOCKING
Utah State continues to lead the Western Athletic Conference in blocking this year and is now averaging 3.10 blocks per game. In league only matches, USU is leading the WAC with 4.02 blocks per game. As of Sept. 30, USU ranked 29th nationally with 2.97 blocks per game. Last year, USU averaged 2.86 blocks per game which ranked third in the WAC and USU finished the 2005 season by averaging 2.81 blocks per game, which also ranked third in the WAC.
NIELSON RECORDS 1,000TH KILL
Senior opposite side hitter Amanda Nielson recorded her 1,000th career kill against 25th-ranked New Mexico State on Sept. 20 and is now one of just five players in school history to record 1,000 kills joining Zuzana Cernianska (1,813), Amy Crosbie (1,463), Erin Cartwright-Davis (1,309) and Denae Mohlman (1,294). Overall, Nielson has 1,090 career kills.
NIELSON CONTINUES TO CLIMB THE CAREER CHARTS
Senior opposite side hitter Amanda Nielson continues her climb in several career categories at Utah State as she currently ranks third all-time at Utah State in attack attempts (3,253), third in block assists (296), fourth in service aces (105), fifth in kills (1,090) and fifth in total blocks (318).
ALE TIES CAREER-HIGH WITH 14 KILLS
Senior outside hitter Monarisa Ale tied her career-high with 14 kills against 22nd-ranked New Mexico State Thursday night. Ale, who added seven blocks and six digs in the match, hit .448 (14-1-29) in the contest.
AGGIES GLAD TO BE HOME IN OCTOBER
After starting the 2007 season with 13 of its first 15 matches away from home, Utah State will play seven of its 10 matches during the month of October at home in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
TWO AGGIES HONORED DURING THE PRESEASON
Utah State had two players honored during the preseason as senior opposite side hitter Amanda Nielson was named to the all-tournament team in each of the three tournaments that USU participated in. Freshman libero Christine Morrill was also honored during the preseason as she was named the Defensive Standout at the 2007 Golden Bear Invitational hosted by the University of California.
NIELSON NAMED PRESEASON ALL-WAC
Senior opposite side hitter Amanda Nielson was one of 12 student-athletes named to the 2007 preseason all-WAC team. Nielson is the second player in USU history to be named preseason all-WAC joining Zuzana Cernianska who received the honor prior to the 2005 season. Other players named preseason all-WAC in 2007 are Niki Clement (San Jose State); Teal Ericson (Nevada); Kari Gregory (Hawai'i); Tara Hittle (Hawai'i); Jamie Houston (Hawai'i), Haley Larson (Idaho); Kim Oguh (New Mexico State); Shannon Phillips (Louisiana Tech); Juliana Sanders (Hawai'i); Jennifer Senftleben (San Jose State); and Amber Simpson (New Mexico State).
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.
QUOTING COACH DUBOSE
On going 1-1 at home last weekend... "Against New Mexico State we need to learn how to win close games and their experience showed. Against Louisiana Tech we did some things we weren't able to do against NMSU like serve well, so that was nice to see."
On playing at Nevada this weekend... "It's nice to have some time off with only one match this weekend. We haven't been able to give the kids some time off from practice and we will be able to do that this week."
On finishing the first half of the WAC schedule with a 6-2 league record... "We're getting better and the nice thing is I don't think we've reached our full potential yet. I think we are going to get better and better as the season goes on and make a final push to achieve our goals of finishing in the top three in our league and reaching the NCAA Tournament."
RETURNING PLAYER NOTES
#1 - Monarisa Ale - Tied her career-high with 14 kills against New Mexico State and also tied her career-high with 15 digs at Fresno State... Is averaging 1.76 kills, 2.59 digs and 1.00 blocks per game ... Is 26 block assists and 28 total blocks shy of entering the USU career top 10 in each category.
#2 - Chelsea Fowles - Averaging 11.30 assists per game to rank fourth in the WAC... Recorded a season-high 63 assists at Fresno State.
#3 - Melissa Osterloh - Has recorded six double-doubles this year... Had a season-high 20 kills at Montana State and a season-high 16 digs at Fresno State... Is averaging 3.92 points, 3.29 kills, 2.78 digs and 0.62 blocks per game.
#4 - Jessalyn Payne - Recorded a season-high 18 digs against Saint Mary's and Eastern Washington and had a season-high three service aces against Louisiana Tech... Averaging 2.43 digs and 0.30 service aces per game to rank ninth in the WAC.
#5 - Danielle Taylor - Hit a career-high .500 (9-1-16) at Fresno State and also had a career-high seven digs against the Bulldogs... Hitting .252 on the season and averaging 1.91 kills and 1.11 blocks per game... Tied her career-high with 11 kills at New Mexico State.
#7 - Katie Astle - Had her best match of the season against Minnesota as she had four kills on six attempts... Is hitting .385 on the season and averaging 0.53 kills per game.
#8 - Melissa Larson - Averaging 2.27 points, 1.50 kills and 1.50 blocks per game... Had a season-high seven kills against Arizona and 10 block assists against San Jose State.
#9 - Rebecca Anderson - Is hitting .280 on the season and averaging 1.31 blocks and 0.77 kills per game... Hit a career-high .545 (6-0-11) at Fresno State and had a season-high eight blocks at San Jose State.
#10 - Kris Hymas - Had a season-high seven kills at Montana State and is averaging 1.30 kills and 1.22 digs per game.
#14 - Christine Morrill - Named the Defensive Standout at the 2007 Golden Bear Invitational... Had a season-high 19 digs versus Boise State and is averaging 3.89 digs per game.
#15 - Dani Schaap - Has yet to play this year... Started six matches at setter for Utah State in 2006 and finished tied for ninth in the WAC with 6.04 assists per game.
#17 - Lori Wilson - Has played in nine games this year, recording a season-high five kills against Eastern Kentucky.
#23 - Heather Hillier - Is averaging 4.31 assists and 1.23 digs per game... Ranks 10th all-time at Utah State with 1,092 career assists... Had a season-high 43 assists against Montana State.
#33 - Amanda Nielson - Recorded season-highs with 28 kills and 15 digs at Fresno State.... Has been named to three all-tournament teams this year... Tied a school record with six service aces against Eastern Washington in four games and hit a career-high .609 (15-1-23) against Eastern Kentucky... Is hitting .179 and averaging 5.64 points, 4.60 kills, 2.27 digs, 1.04 blocks and 0.49 service aces per game.
HEAD COACH Grayson DuBose
Entering his second season as Utah State's head volleyball coach is Grayson DuBose, who is optimistic that his 2007 team can rebound from a disappointing 13-19 record a year ago and a sixth-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference. DuBose was hired by USU on March 27, 2006. In his inaugural season at Utah State, DuBose (pronounced Do-Boz) inherited a team that lost four starters and seven quality letterwinners from an NCAA Tournament team that went 21-13 overall and finished in a tie for second-place in the WAC with an 11-5 league record in 2005. Despite all the turnover, DuBose led Utah State to an early 10-8 record, including a 3-1 mark in WAC play before numerous injuries and inexperience took its toll in the final six weeks. In 2006, DuBose coached two all-league players as junior Amanda Nielson earned second-team all-WAC honors, while Melissa Larson was named to the conference's all-freshman team. Utah State also had six players earn academic all-conference honors, and one player earn WAC Player of the Week honors, marking just the second time that a USU player has received the award. Prior to accepting the head coaching position at Utah State, DuBose spent four seasons (2003-06) as an assistant on Brigham Young University's men's volleyball team. DuBose began his collegiate coaching career at Utah State from 1999-2000 as an assistant to Tom Peterson. During that time, the Aggies won the Eastern Division of the Big West Conference in 1999 and advanced to the school's first-ever NCAA Tournament in 2000, defeating Missouri in the first round. USU finished the 2000 season ranked 22nd in the country, the program's first-ever top-25 ranking. In his four seasons at Brigham Young, DuBose helped lead the Cougar's men's program to a 90-30 (.750) record, including a National Championship in 2004 and a second-place finish at the 2003 NCAA Tournament. During his time at BYU, he coached nine All-American's, including the 2004 NCAA Player of the Year. DuBose began his coaching career as an assistant at Brighton High School in Sandy, Utah from 1997-98 and also assisted with the Cache Valley Juniors and the Mountain West Volleyball Club during that time period. Following his two-year stint at Utah State, DuBose spent one year as an assistant to Peterson at the University of New Mexico, working with the women's program, before following Peterson to Brigham Young. DuBose played two years of collegiate volleyball at Golden West Community College in Huntington Beach, Calif., after graduating from Edison High School in Huntington Beach where he earned all-county honors his senior season. DuBose graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in history in 1993 and then received his teaching certificate from Utah State University in 1995. He and his wife Lenonnie have three children, Kline (9), Cassandra (7) and Jackson (3).
Year School Overall WAC NCAA 2006 Utah State 13-19 (.406) 6-10 (.375) 2007 Utah State 9-8 (.529) 6-2 (.750) Totals 22-27 (.449) 12-12 (.500)