Oct. 31, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - In the first of its final three road matches of the regular season, Utah State volleyball will play at Denver on Thursday, Nov. 1 in Western Athletic Conference action. First serve from DU's Hamilton Gymnasium is slated for 7 p.m. (MT).
The Aggies are going for their milestone seventh-straight road win, which would be their longest since 1978. USU is also seeking its 13th WAC victory of the season, which would be a school record, already improving on their program mark for most WAC wins, but bettering their mark for most conference victories, as the 2001 Aggies won 12 Big West Conference matches.
Utah State is 17-7 overall and 12-2 in WAC action, having won its last four in a row and seven of its last nine overall. USU's 17 overall wins mark the third time to win at least 17 matches in a season under head coach Grayson DuBose, winning 17 in 2007 and 24 in 2010. Overall, the Aggies have now won 17 or more matches in a season a total of 15 times in school history.
USU has won its last six road matches this season, which are the most for an Aggie team since 1978. That season Utah State won its first seven road matches of the season. The overall longest road winning streak for road matches is 10, as the 1977 team won its last three matches on the road before the 1978 squad's aforementioned seven-match win streak.
Utah State continues to lead the WAC overall in blocking at 3.01 blocks per set and the Aggies also are tops in the league in WAC only matches at 3.07 bps. USU's defense also leads the conference in opponent hitting percentage (.135) and is second in WAC only matches (.135).
The Aggies are led by senior opposite side hitter Shay Sorensen (North Ogden, Utah), who is is sixth in the WAC in overall kills per set (3.19) and fifth in WAC only kps (3.48). Sorensen also is fifth for overall points per set (3.96) and fourth for conference only matches for pps (4.26).
The Pioneers are 14-10 overall and 8-6 in WAC action, currently tied for sixth-place in the league standings, and will have three matches this week, starting with beating Idaho in five sets on Monday, then hosting USU on Thursday and San Jose State on Saturday. DU has won six of its last seven matches, after having its five-match win streak halted by getting swept at home by New Mexico State on Saturday in the Pioneers' lone WAC match of the week. Denver did sweep in-state foe Northern Colorado on Tuesday at home. Prior to Saturday's three-set loss to NMSU, DU had won its previous four conference matches all by 3-1 scores.
DU leads the league in overall hitting percentage at .249 as well as in WAC only matches for hitting percentage at .244. Denver also is second in the conference in both overall blocks per set (2.70) and WAC only bps(2.83).
The Pioneers are led by senior middle blocker Faimie Kingsley, who leads the WAC and is fourth in the NCAA in blocks per set with 1.67. Kingsley also leads the league and ranks 24th in the country in hitting percentage (.384). In WAC only matches, Kingsley is first in blocks (1.84 bps) and second in hitting percentage (.374).
The match-up Thursday with Denver is just USU's third all-time, as the teams first met in 1983 before this season's earlier meeting, won in five sets by the Aggies, for a 2-0 series lead. Before this year's earlier match-up, the Aggies and Pioneers had only one previous meeting, back before any of the players on either teams' rosters were born, back in 1983, meeting in the Northern Colorado Invitational. "Back then" the matches were played to 15 with side out, and due to tournament rules were the best of three sets with the Aggies winning, 2-0 (15-1, 15-1).
Live stats for Thursday's match are available via "Live Stats" link and Thursday's match will also be streamed on the Internet by clicking on the "Watch Live" link at www.utahstateaggies.com, the official web site of USU athletics. Fans will need to pay a small fee to watch the action Thursday.
USU will continue its weekend trip by heading to Las Cruces, N.M., to take on New Mexico State in an all-Aggie affair on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. Utah State will play at San Jose State on Saturday, Nov. 10 in its final road match of the regular season, before returning home to host Texas State on Wednesday, Nov. 14 in the Aggies' final home match. It will be Senior Night as USU will be honoring its three seniors: Kassi Hargrove, Shay Sorensen and Josselyn White.
Utah State volleyball tickets are available by contacting the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.
USU volleyball action can be followed live on the Internet with live stats available through the "GameTracker" link at www.UtahStateAggies.com. Aggie volleyball home matches are also streamed online by clicking on the "Watch Live" link at www.UtahStateAggies.com. There is a Utah State All-Access Monthly Subscription for $9.95 and a Utah State All-Access Yearly Subscription for $79.95.
Fans can follow the Aggie volleyball program at twitter.com/USUVolleyball or on facebook at facebook.com/USUVolleyball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at facebook.com/USUAthletics.
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