Utah State Volleyball Beaten By Wichita State In Five Sets Friday In Portland
Sep 6, 2013
PORTLAND, Ore. - Utah State volleyball bounced back to force a fifth and deciding set but the Aggies' rally came up short in a five-set loss to Wichita State, 3-2 (25-23, 17-25, 19-25, 26-24, 7-15) Friday afternoon at the University of Portland Nike Invitational at UP's Chiles Center.
It was USU's third five-set match in their short four-match season so far, and the Aggies are now 1-2 in five-setters and 2-2 overall. Wichita State, which was No. 24 in the Preseason AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll, before sliding out and among others receiving votes this week, improved to 3-1 with Friday's win.
Utah State had three players in double-digit kills for the third match in a row, led by junior outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.), with a match-high 19 kills as part of 21.5 points, tying her career-high for the second match in a row in both departments. Sophomore opposite side hitter Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah) also posted a new career-best with 15 kills, and a new career-high with 16 points. Senior outside hitter Tumua Etimani (Richardson, Texas) notched 13 kills.
Junior setter Paige Neves (Otto, Wyo.) dished out a match-best and season-high 50 assists and logged her third double-double of the season with 14 digs. Neves' 50 assists is the seventh time in her career that she has dished out 50 or more helpers in a match.
Orr joined Neves in the double-double department with her fourth of the season, posting 11 digs, while junior libero Ashlan Rogers-Court (Highland, Utah) matched Neves for team-leading honors with 14 digs.
Junior middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah) tallied nine kills on a .318 (9-2-22) attack percentage, to go with a team-leading four block assists. VanHoff now has 270 career block assists, breaking into USU's top 10 career block assists list, passing Melissa Schoepf (1997-2000) for the No. 10 spot. VanHoff needs 10 more block assists to catch former teammate Shay Sorensen (2009-12) with 280. VanHoff also now has 284 total blocks, needing seven more to catch Sorensen for the No. 10 spot on the Aggies' career total blocks list.
Wichita State was led by Ashley Andrade with 16 kills, while Chelsey Feekin dished out 45 assists to go with a match-high six blocks. Jordan Hinkle led the Shockers with 15 digs.
USU posted a .219 (60-26-155) attack percentage, with the Aggies tying their season-high 60 kills for the second match in a row, while WSU hit .322 (65-18-146) for the match.
There were a total of 35 ties in the match, including 12 in the first set alone, as well as 12 total lead changes.
In the opening set, USU took its largest lead of the frame at 7-5 after an Orr kill. Wichita State countered and later took a 19-16 lead after a kill by Andrade, forcing a USU timeout. The Aggies charged out of the break, and pulled away from a 23-all tie with back-to-back kills from Orr and Brainard to take the set, 25-23.
In the second stanza, the Shockers surged ahead from a 10-10 tie with four unanswered points, prompting an Aggie timeout. USU got within 15-14 after a pair of service aces from freshman defensive specialist Hannah Gleason (Las Flores, Calif.), but that would be the closest the Aggies would get as WSU pulled away and took the second frame, 25-17.
Set three started with a 5-3 Aggie advantage after consecutive kills from Neves and Orr. Wichita State countered and and the lead changed hands back-and-forth. A kill by Neves knotted the score at 15-15, but like the second set, the Shockers pulled away and took the frame at 25-19 for a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Aggies stormed away from a 5-4 lead with six unanswered for an 11-4 lead, getting two kills by Etimani during the stretch. USU's lead stretched to 13-5 after a WSU error and the Shockers took a timeout. After the Shockers shuck the lead down to 16-12, USU scored four-straight points behind the serving of Rogers-Court for a 20-12 lead. WSU whittled the gap down and tied the score at 21-21, then went ahead and had match point at 24-23. However, the Aggies fought back and got a kill by Orr to tie it at 24-all, forcing bonus volleyball in the set, then senior middle blocker Alyssa Everett (Perry, Utah) posted a block and Brainard posted a kill for a 26-24 Aggie set win to force the fifth and deciding set.
The fifth frame was no different than the previous four with the teams trading the lead. USU took a 7-6 lead on a kill by Orr, but the Shockers went on a 9-0 streak to win the set and the match at 15-7.
Utah State continues tournament action by playing Pacific on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 11 a.m. (MT), at Portland State's Peter W. Stott Center (1,500), before wrapping up Invitational play by taking on co-host Portland on Saturday at 8 p.m. (MT) back at Portland's Chiles Center (4,852).
Live stats for the Portland Nike Invitational matches are available via "Live Stats" links at www.utahstateaggies.com, the official web site of USU athletics. Live video for Utah State's Portland Nike Invitational matches that will be played at Portland will be available via the "Watch Live" link at www.utahstateaggies.com.
Following this weekend's action, the Aggies take on in-state foe Weber State on Sept. 10. USU then plays at the Duke University Tournament on Sept. 13-14.
The Aggies will officially kick off their home schedule by hosting Boise State on Sept. 18 at 7 p.m., in USU's MW debut.
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.
Fans can also follow the Aggie volleyball program at twitter.com/USUVolleyball, on facebook at facebook.com/USUVolleyball or on instagram at instagram.com/usuvolleyball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at facebook.com/USUAthletics.