Oct. 23, 2000
UP NEXT -- Utah State (ranked 22nd in the country in the latest AVCA/USA Today Coaches' Poll) will conclude its six-match homestand this Monday, Oct. 23 when the Aggies host Idaho at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum at 7 p.m. All-time, USU is 5-7 versus the Vandals with Utah State winning both matches last year. The Aggies will then hit the road next weekend as USU travels to UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly. Utah State defeated the Gauchos earlier this year at home in three games, and defeated the Mustangs at home in five games. All-time, USU is 4-24 versus UCSB and 2-9 against Cal Poly.
RECAPPING LAST WEEK -- Utah State went 3-0 last week with sweeps of Idaho State (15-3, 15-3, 15-10), UC Irvine (15-9, 15-10, 15-8), and Cal State Fullerton (15-9, 15-13, 15-3) to improve to 17-5 overall and 7-2 in the Big West tying UC Santa Barbara for second place. Pacific leads the league with an 8-1 record. Against the Bengals, USU hit .259 and held ISU to a negative .063 percentage. Senior Amy Crosbie had a match-high 10 kills, while junior Heather Olmstead had 10 digs. Junior Chelsi Neves had a match-high .714 hitting percentage with six kills. Against UC Irvine, sophomore Rochelle Currier had a career-high 17 kills to go along with eight digs and two blocks, while Neves hit .769 in the match with 10 kills on 13 attacks and no errors. Neves also had 10 digs and three blocks in the match as USU hit .314 overall and held the Anteaters to a .162 hitting percentage. Versus Cal State Fullerton, Crosbie again lead the way with 12 kills, while Currier had a match-high 14 digs. Neves continued her torrid pace with a .533 hitting percentage with nine kills as the Aggies hit .349 as a team.
SCOUTING IDAHO-- Idaho is 11-7 on the season and 2-5 in the Big West Conference. The Vandals have lost its last five matches, all of which have been in league play. Freshman middle blocker Anne-Marie Hammond leads the club with a .284 attack percentage and is also averaging 1.22 blocks per game to lead the team. As a team, Idaho is hitting .207, while its opponents are hitting .177. UI's two league wins on the year have come at home versus Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine. Idaho returns four starters and eight letterwinners from last year's team that went 17-15 overall and 7-9 in the conference.
SCOUTING THE GAUCHOS-- UC Santa Barbara (ranked 12th in the country) is tied with Utah State for second-place in the Big West Conference with 7-2 league marks. Overall, the Gauchos are 15-5 on the season. UCSB's two league losses this year have been to Pacific and Utah State on the road. The Aggies won its match with Santa Barbara by scores of 15-12, 15-6, 15-0 and held UCSB to a negative hitting percentage for the match. UC Santa Barbara is hitting .238 as a team on the year, led by sophomore middle blocker Danielle Bauer's .303 attack percentage. The Gauchos return three starters and seven letterwinners from last year's team that finished 29-6 overall and 12-4 in the Big West.
SCOUTING CAL POLY -- Cal Poly is 11-7 on the year and 5-4 in the Big West Conference after losing a pair of matches at Long Beach State and Pacific this past weekend. Sophomore middle blocker Carly O'Halloran is hitting .377 on the season to lead the team, while sophomore Lien Worthy is averaging 1.52 blocks per game. As a team, the Mustangs are hitting .222 overall and yielding a .168 attack percentage to its opponents. The Aggies defeated Cal Poly on Sept. 28 in Logan in five games by scores of 12-15, 11-15, 15-4, 15-10, 15-9. The Mustangs return five starters and nine letterwinners from last year's squad that finished 20-9 overall and 11-5 in conference play.
HEAD COACH TOM PETERSON -- Tom Peterson is in 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 238-104 (.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 17-5 .773 7-2 Totals 11th year 238-104 .696
PETERSON SECOND ALL-TIME-- In 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 .646 winning percentage is second only to Marilyn McReavy and Mary Jo Peppler who had a .757 winning percentage at Utah State in six seasons.
ON A ROLL -- Utah State has been on a roll as of late, winning 15 of its last 17 matches after starting the season with a 2-3 record. USU had a 10 match winning streak earlier this year which was the longest for an Aggie team since the 1980 team won 15 matches in a row. Utah State has also won 30 of its last 39 matches dating back to last year, which is the best winning streak since 1980. The 17-5 record for USU is the best start to a season since the `79 team began 20-1.
UNDEFEATED VERSUS THE STATE OF UTAH -- For the first time since 1980, Utah State went undefeated versus the state of Utah with wins over BYU and Weber State in three games each and a four-game win over Utah. 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. Prior to the 2000 season, Utah State hadn't beaten BYU since 1980 and Utah since 1990.
ENDING OLD STREAKS -- Utah State has made a habit of ending some long losing streaks this season with its 17-5 start to the season. USU's first streak-stopper was a three-game win over BYU which had won 29 matches in a row versus the Aggies dating back to 1981. Next on the list was Cal Poly, which had won nine matches in a row over USU dating back to 1980 before losing in Logan. And finally UC Santa Barbara's streak of 23 straight wins over the Aggies dating back to 1978 came to an abrupt halt on Sept. 30 with USU posting a three-game win. USU also ended an 11-match losing streak to the University of Utah on Oct. 10 by defeating the Utes in four games. The last time Utah State defeated Utah prior to this season was all the way back in the 1990 season.
AGGIES ENTER TOP-25 -- For the first time ever, Utah State's women's volleyball team is ranked in the Top-25 in the country as the Aggies are 22nd in the USA Today/AVCA Division I Coaches Poll. The NCAA began sponsorship of women's volleyball in 1982, prior to that, volleyball was affiliated with the AIAW where USU won the National Championship in 1978 and finished second in the country in 1979.
NEVES TEARING IT UP -- Junior setter Chelsi Neves has been simply unstopable as of late as she now leads the team with a .349 hitting pecentage. In her past three matches, the junior setter is hitting .657 with only two attack errors on 35 attemtps. She has also notched eight blocks, 16 digs and two service aces to go along with an average of 12.78 assists per game. Neves also had an outstanding week last week versus No. 15 Utah and Boise State as she was named Big West co-Player of the Week.
AGGIES SURPASS LAST YEAR'S WIN TOTAL -- With eight matches still remaining on the season for USU before postseason play, Utah State has already surpassed last year's win total of 14 matches with 17 and counting. The most wins by a USU team in the past 18 years was 18 set by the 1997 team. Prior to that you would have to go all the way back to the 1982 team to find a team with more wins (28).
THREE TOP-15 WINS -- Utah State has had great success against top-15 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) on Sept. 30 in three games. The Aggies latest victory was a four-game win over No. 15 Utah in Logan on Oct. 10 USU is 3-3 versus top-20 opponents this year, losing a five-game match to (#18) Kansas State, and three-game matches to then No. 14 Pacific and then No. 18 Long Beach State on the road. In the next two week, USU will play three more ranked opponents in UC Santa Barbara on the road, and Pacific and Long Beach State at home.