Aggie Volleyball Rallies From Two-Set Deficit For Five-Set Victory Over Pacific Saturday
Sep 7, 2013
PORTLAND, Ore. - Down two sets to none, Utah State volleyball rallied for the 3-2 (16-25, 11-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-11) five-set win over Pacific Saturday morning at the University of Portland Nike Invitational in a match played at Portland State's Peter W. Stott Center.
Saturday morning's five-set match was the Aggies' second in as many days, as well as their third in a row and fourth in their five matches of the season, improving to 3-2 overall. Pacific slid to 4-3 on the year with the loss and snapped USU's three-match losing streak to Pacific and the Aggies cut the Tigers' series lead to 29-7, as USU used to be in the Big West Conference with Pacific.
The Aggies return to the court to wrap up Invitational action Saturday night against co-host Portland at 8 p.m. (MT) at UP Chiles Center. "Live Stats" and "Watch Live" links are available at www.utahstateaggies.com, the official web site of USU athletics.
For the fifth time in as many matches, USU had three players in double-digit kills and for the third match in a row, junior outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.) posted a career-high with 20 kills, topping her previous career-best of 19 kills done in each of the previous two matches. Orr also notched a .306 attack percentage (20-5-49), for her second .300 match this season with both coming in the last three matches.
Senior outside hitter Tumua Etimani (Richardson, Texas) added 13 kills, while sophomore opposite side hitter Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah) added 11 kills to go with five blocks.
Senior middle blocker Alyssa Everett (Perry, Utah) logged eight block assists, one shy of her career-high, leading USU to 12 total blocks. Orr added four blocks while junior middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah) added three blocks.
Junior setter Paige Neves (Otto, Wyo.), dished out 44 assists while junior libero Ashlan Rogers-Court (Highland, Utah) led the team with 14 digs, while Etimani notched nine digs and Orr posted seven. Neves also tallied a .800 attack percentage (4-0-5).
Pacific had four players in double-digit kills, led by Kat Schulz with 16 kills. Kimmy Whitson dished out 54 assits while Lexi Elman tallied 14 digs. Jennifer Sanders posted six blocks and Mia Feiner notched three aces.
USU posted a .232 attack percentage (51-18-142) while Pacific was .281 (68-25-153).
Pacific pulled away from a 6-4 lead in the first set and opened an 11-5 advantage. Orr slowed the surge with a kill to pull USU within, 11-6, and later closed to 13-10 after a kill by Etimani and a Pacific error. That would be the closest the Aggies could get, as the Tigers pulled away for a 25-16 set one win.
The second set was tied at 6-6 before the Tigers reeled off a 14-2 run to open a 20-6 lead. USU got within 22-11 after a kill by VanHoff and a Pacific error, but the Tigers tallied the next three points to take set two, 25-11.
In the third set, the Aggies opened up 15-10 lead after an Orr kill. Later, Everett notched a kill for a 19-13 lead. The Tigers clawed away at the gap and got it down to 23-22 after a kill from Gillian Howard, but a Pacific error and then a block by Brainard earned USU the 25-22 set win, sending the match to a fourth set.
A kill by Brainard opened up an 11-8 lead for the Aggies in the fourth set. USU maintained its three-point for most of the rest of set, leading 19-16 after an ace by Gleason and the Aggies took the fourth set at 25-22 after a Brainard bash for a kill, sending the match to the fifth set.
USU led 8-4 in the fifth frame after a block by Everett and Brainard. The Aggie advantage stretched to 11-6 following a Pacific attack error, but the Tigers closed to 12-10 after a kill by Megan Birch, but USU scored three of the next four points on a kill by Etimani, a kill by Orr and a block by Everett to complete the Aggies' comeback for the 15-11 set five win and the match victory.
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.