Weekly Volleyball Release (11-28-00)


Nov. 28, 2000

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UP NEXT -- Utah State (ranked 21st in the country in the latest AVCA/USA Today Coaches' Poll) will participate in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history as the Aggies will battle No. 25 Missouri in Provo, Utah on Fri., Dec. 1, at 5:00 p.m. The Tigers are 24-6 on the season and are also making their first NCAA Tournament apperance. The other two teams in the Central Region are BYU and Hofstra.

SCOUTING THE TIGERS -- Missouri finished tied for second place in the Big 12 Conference with Kansas State and Texas A&M with a 14-6 league mark. Overall, the Tigers are 24-6 on the season and ranked 25th in the country. Missouri is making its first ever apperance in the NCAA Tournament. As a team, MU is hitting .291 on the season, while its opponents are hitting .199. The Tigers average 3.17 blocks and 17.05 kills per game. The Tigers have five players who are hitting over .300 on the season. Missouri lost its last match of the regular season at Colorado in three games by scores of 9-15, 14-16, 13-15, but have won four of its last five and seven of its last nine. The Aggies and Tigers played two common opponents during the 2000 season in Kansas State and Oklahoma. USU lost to Kansas State in five games and defeated Oklahoma in three games, while MU split its meetings with the Wildcats and swept the Sooners. The Tigers return six starters and nine letterwinners from last year's team that went 10-21 overall and 4-16 in the Big 12. Head coach Susan Kreklow is in her first year at Columbia and seventh overall as a head coach with a 485-87 record.

SERIES HISTORY -- Utah State and Missouri will be meeting for just the second time ever in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Aggies defeated the Tigers in 1989 in three games in the San Diego Tournament by scores of 15-2, 15-13, 15-9.

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 year. Prior to USU, Peterson spent the previous three seasons at Salt Lake Community College, posting a record of 80-38, and a 28-6 mark 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 242-108 (.691).

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 .625 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 ENTERS BIG WEST TOP-10 IN BLOCK ASSISTS -- With three more block assists against Idaho, senior Denae Mohlman has moved up to eighth all-time in the Big West Conference with 408 career block assists. She is also eight all-time in the Big West with her .346 career hitting percentage.

AGGIES NOTCH 20TH WIN FOR FIRST TIME IN 19 YEARS -- Utah State's volleyball team got win number 20 at Idaho State on Nov. 9, marking the first time in 19 years that the USU program has reached the 20-win mark.

CROSBIE CLOSING IN ON RECORD -- Senior Amy Crosbie has her sights set on one more record before leaving Utah State this season, as she is 10 kills away from tying the single-season school record for kills with 444 set by Denae Mohlman in 1997. Crosbie already owns the schools all-time kills mark with 1,423, and currently has 434 kills this 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 21st 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.

AGGIES AMONG THE ELITE IN ATTENDANCE -- Utah State has brought a lot of attention to themselves this season by posting the school's best record in the past 19 years and the fans have noticed. As of this week's attendance figures, USU is 18th in the country in average attendance, as USU is averaging 1,280 fans per match.

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 3-6 versus top-20 opponents this year, losing a five-game match to (#18) Kansas State, and three-game matches to then No. 14 Pacific, then No. 18 Long Beach State, and then No. 14 UC Santa Barbara on the road. The Aggies also lost to UOP and LBSU at home this past weekend.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE -- Senior outside hitter Melissa Schoepf had one more double-double last weekend against Boise State to give her 11 on the season to lead the team. Schoepf just missed her second triple-double of the year versus the 49ers as she had 16 kills, 11 digs, and nine blocks. Her first triple-double of the season came at Cal Poly with 25 kills, 15 digs and 12 assists.

TEAM RECORDS -- With everything else that the USU volleyball team has done this year, it would only make sense that the team has also set some all-time single-season records. Thus far, USU is hitting. 240 as a team, which would shatter the previous school record of .227 set last season. Also, USU's 1,793 kills is second all-time and just 22 away from tying the school mark set in 1997. The Aggies have also set a new record for block assists in a single-year with 541 and counting. The old mark was 473 set during the 1997 season. Utah State has 300.5 total blocks on the year which is also a school record.

FIRST TIME IN NCAAs-- Utah State will be making its first-ever apperance in the NCAA Tournament after posting a 21-9 record. Four other schools will also be making their first-ever apperance in the NCAA Touranment and one of those teams is the Aggies opponent in the first round in the Missouri Tigers. The other three schools are Alabama A&M, Texas-San Antonio, and Georgia State.

IN THE REGION-- Along with Utah State and Missouri, the other two teams in the first and second round regional in Provo, Utah, will be No. 12 Brigham Young and Hofstra. The Cougars finished with a 24-6 record, winning the Mountain West Conference, while Hofstra went 23-10 on the season and a perfect 16-0 in the America East Conference. BYU and Hofstra will play in the other first round match following the Aggies and Tigers. The winners of those two matches will play in the second round on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7:00 p.m. The Aggies are 0-1 all-time versus Hofstra, losing a four-game match back in 1991 at the Arizona State Tournament by scores of 9-15, 6-15, 15-12, 9-15. Against the Cougars, USU is 10-35 all-time, with the Aggies sweeping BYU earlier this year in Logan by scores of 15-13, 15-8, 15-6. BYU was ranked 10th in the country at the time. It was the first win for USU over BYU in 20 years, covering 29 matches.

FOUR AGGIES EARN BIG WEST HONORS-- For the first time in school history, Utah State had four players earn all-conference honors in the Big West in the same year. Seniors Amy Crosbie (Visalia, Calif.), Denae Mohlman (Shoreline, Wash.), and Melissa Schoepf (Georgetown, Calif.) were all named to the league's first team, while junior Chelsi Neves (Otto, Wyo.) was named to the second team. Crosbie, an outside attacker, led Utah State with 434 kills and 266 digs on the season, and averaged 4.13 kills per game. Mohlman, a middle blocker, was second on the team with a.360 hitting percentage and led the team with 135 total blocks. Schoepf, an outside attacker, was second on the team with 3.51 kills and 2.45 digs per game, and was third with 0.95 blocks per game. Neves, a setter, hit a team-high .374 on the season and set a new single-season USU record with 1,352 assists. Neves is third in the Big West Conference in assists per game, while Crosbie is fourth in kills and sixth in service aces per game. Mohlman is fourth in the league in hitting percentage and seventh in blocks. Mohlman has now been named to the league's first-team for the third time in her career, while it is the first time for Crosbie and Schoepf. Mohlman was also named the Big West Conference Freshman of the Year in 1997 and to the Volleyball Magazine All-Freshman Team in 1997. Along with being named to the first-team, Crosbie was a second-team all-league performer as a junior in 1998, and was also a member of the All-Freshman Team in 1997. Prior to the 2000 season, Utah State had just three players named all-league as Mohlman was first-team in 1997 and 1999, Crosbie was second team in 1998, and Marie Motil was second team in 1993. Mohlman, along with UC Santa Barbara's Brooke Rundle became just the 14th and 15th players in Big West history to earn first-team honors three times in their careers.

AGGIES SWEEP 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 two wins over Utah and losses to 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 made a habit out of ending some long losing streaks this season en route to its 21-9 record. USU's first streak stopper was a three-game win over BYU which had won 29 straight matches against the Aggies dating back to 1981. Next on the list was Cal Poly, who had won nine matches in a row over Utah State dating back to 1980 before losing in Logan in five games. The third team to have a long winning streak stopped against USU was UC Santa Barbara who had won 23 straight against the Aggies dating back to 1978 before losing in Logan in three games. And finally, Utah State ended a 10-match winning streak by Utah dating back to 1990 with a four-game win by the Aggies.

AGGIES CLOSE HOME SEASON WITH FOURTH MOST WINS EVER-- Despite losing its final two home matches to No. 12 Pacific and No. 18 Long Beach State, Utah State still finished with a 9-2 record at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum which ranks as the fourth-best home mark ever for USU. The most wins at home by a USU team was 18 set by the 1979 team that finished 18-0 at home. The 1978 team was 11-0 at home, while the 1982 team went 11-2 at home. USU's .818 winning percentage at home this year is the seventh-best mark ever in USU history.

NEVES SETS RECORD-- Junior setter Chelsi Neves set a new single-season school record this past weekend at Idaho with her 22 assists, giving her 1,352 on the season. Those 1,352 assists breaks the previous record set by Randi Winn during the 1993 season with 1,340. Neves' 1,352 assists also ranks as the sixth-best all-time total at USU. The junior currently ranks third in the Big West Conference in assists per game with 12.75.

MOHLMAN LOOKING FOR MORE RECORDS-- Denae Mohlman is closing out her career with some impressive numbers as she is hitting .360 on the year and has 124 block assists. Mohlman is three block assists away from tying her own single-season school record of 127 set her freshman season, and she holds the top-four all-time hitting percentages.

MOHLMAN NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT-- Senior middle blocker Denae Mohlman was named to the Verizon Academic District VIII Women's Volleyball Second Team this past week as voted on by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Mohlman, an elementary education major, is second on the team with a .360 hitting percentage, and leads the team with 135 total blocks. She is USU's all-time leader in blocks and holds the school record with a career .365 hitting percentage. She is also among the top-five all-time at USU in games played, matches played, kills, and attacks.

STORIED HISTORY-- The resurgence of Utah State's women's volleyball team has brought back memories of year's past when USU was among the best program's in the country. USU began volleyball in 1976 and produced a 16-11 mark. Just two short year's later, USU won its first and only AIAW National Championship in 1978 with a 42-4-2 record. The following season, the Aggies finished second, losing to Hawai'i in the championship game in five games, and the following year the Aggies finished third in the country. From the 1983 to 1998 season, USU had just one winning season (1997 - 18 wins) prior to head coach Tom Peterson turning the program around with back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in 19 years.

SCOUTING HOFSTRA-- Hofstra finished the regular season with a 23-10 record and a perfect 16-0 mark in the America East Conference for head coach Fran Kalafer. The Pride have won its last 14 matches and 17 of its last 18, with its only loss coming to Rutgers at home in four games. Hofstra went 12-4 at home on the season, 10-2 on the road, and 1-4 at neutral sites. The Pride is making its fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and are 0-4 all-time. Last year they lost to Southern California in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in three games. Hofstra returns two starters and seven letterwinners from that team that went 26-6 overall and 13-1 in league play.

SCOUTING BYU-- Brigham Young, ranked 12th in the country, finished the regular season with a 24-6 record, including a 12-2 mark in the Mountain West Conference. The Cougars won the MWC Tournament by defeating No. 6 Colorado State in Ft. Collins, Colo., in five games. BYU has won its last 11 matches going into the NCAA Tournament and 13 of its last 14. The last team to defeat BYU was Pepperdine in four games on Oct. 18. The Cougars return three starters and nine letterwinners from last year's team that went 28-5 overall and 13-1 in conference play, advancing to the Sweet 16 before losing to Florida in three games. The Cougars will be making their 19th apperance in the NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 24-18.

SENIOR SUCCESS-- Utah State's senior trio of Amy Crosbie, Denae Mohlman, and Melissa Schoepf have proven to be the best trio in school history and the record books quickly reflect their accomplishments. All three seniors are in the top-three all-time at USU for career kills as Crosbie has 1,436, Mohlman has 1,276, and Schoepf has 945. The three are also among the top-eight all-time in games and matches played, and among the top-four all-time in total attacks. Furthermore, Crosbie and Schoepf are tied for the fourth most service aces in school history with 95, while Schoepf is fourth all-time in digs (810), and Crosbie is fifth (749). Furthermore, Mohlman is first all-time at USU in block assists (408) and tota blocks (479) and third in solo blocks (56), while Schoepf is third all-time in block assists (244) and total blocks (269). Mohlman also tied the USU single-match record this year with 11 block assists versus Boise State on Oct. 14.

THREE AGGIES EARN PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS-- For the first time in school history, Utah State had three players earn Big West Conference Player of the Week honors during the course of the 2000 season. Amy Crosbie was the first player to be honored as she won the award on Sept. 18 after leading the Aggies to a three-game sweep over then No. 10 BYU. Denae Molhman then won the award on Oct. 2 after leading the Aggies to a pair of wins over Cal Poly and then ranked No. 9 UC Santa Barbara. Chelsi Neves was the third Aggie to win player of the week honors on Oct. 16 after leading USU to a pair of wins over Boise State and then ranked No. 15 Utah. Prior to the 2000 season, only two Aggies had ever won the award as Mohlman received the honor her freshman year, and Marie Motil won the award in 1993.

MOHLMAN ONLY AGGIE EVER TO BE NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK TWICE-- Senior Denae Mohlman became the only Aggie in school history to earn two Big West Conference Player of the Week honors this season as she won the award on Oct. 2. Mohlman also won the award her freshman year after leading the Aggies to a pair of road wins at Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine. In all, only four Aggies have ever earned Big West Conference Player of the Week honors.

CROSBIE NAMED NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK-- Senior Amy Crosbie became the first player in Utah State history to earn Narional Player of the Week honors after leading the Aggies to an upset win over Brigham Young University on Sept. 12 in Logan. The Cougars were ranekd 10th in the country at the time and had won 29 matches in a row over the Aggies prior to that match.

REUNION FOR UTAH STATE AND HOFSTRA ASSISTANT-- One of the greatest volleyball players in Utah State history will be making an apperance in the Beehive state this weekend in Provo, Utah, as the first and second round of the 2000 NCAA Volleyball Tournament will take place at the Smith Fieldhouse. One of Hofstra's assistant coaches is former Aggie All-American Elaine Roque. Rogue is in her second season as an assistant for the Pride and was an All-American at Utah State in 1979 after leading the Aggies to a second-place finish in the AIAW National Tournament. Roque transferred to Utah State from UCLA prior to the 1979 season. She lead the Aggies to a No. 1 ranking that year prior to losing to Hawai'i in the national championship game in five games. Following her graduation from Utah State in 1983, Rogue was named Sportswoman of the Year in 1990 and `92 and was an alternate on the 1996 United States Olympic Team. She was voted the best blocker on the W.P.V.A. tour in 1991 and `93, and won the Sportsmanship Award in 1991, `92, `95, `96, and `97. She is currently ranked fourth on the W.P.V.A. all-time money list. Roque also won the 1990 World Championship and 1994 Puerto Rico F.I.V.B. World Series Tournament. She was inducted into Utah State's Hall of Fame in 1993.

SUCCESS IN THE BIG WEST-- Utah State has been on a roll over the past year and a half after starting the 1999 season with a 1-8 record under head coach Tom Peterson. After that initial 1-8 start, the Aggies won 13 of its last 17 matches to finish with a 14-12 record in claiming the Eastern Division of the Big West Conference with an 11-5 league mark. It was the first time ever that USU won a divisional championship in the Big West. During the 2000 season, USU won 10 matches in a row at one point en route to its 21-9 record, giving Utah State a 34-13 overall record in the past year and a half, including a 21-11 record in league play. That 10-match winning streak for USU was the longest streak since the 1980 team won 15 matches in a row.



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