Oct. 10, 2013
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Utah State volleyball battled 13th-ranked Colorado State tough before falling in four sets, 3-1 (17-25, 25-20, 23-25, 18-25), Thursday night at CSU's Moby Arena.
USU's set two victory was the first frame won by a visiting team at Colorado State, as Thursday was the first time this season that CSU did not win in three sets in its seven home matches so far this season. With the loss, USU is now 9-7 overall and 3-3 in Mountain West play, while CSU improves to 14-0 overall and 5-0 in MW action. The Rams now lead the all-time series, 18-14, as Thursday's meeting was the first since 2001. Thursday was also the Aggies' first match against a nationally-ranked opponent this season.
Junior outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.) posted 13 kills while senior outside hitter Tumua Etimani (Richardson, Texas) tallied her team-leading seventh double-double of the season with 13 digs and 10 kills.
Junior libero Ashlan Rogers-Court (Highland, Utah) logged a season-high 24 digs, for her fourth match with 20+ digs this season and the 11th of her career. Rogers-Court now has 945 career digs, needing 55 more to become just the fifth player in school history to reach 1,000 career digs.
Senior middle blocker Alyssa Everett (Perry, Utah) and junior middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah) notched six block assists each, while sophomore opposite side hitter Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah) recorded five blocks assists, as USU had 12 total team blocks on the night, its 10th match with double-digit blocks. Brainard added eight kills while VanHoff tallied seven.
Junior setter Paige Neves (Otto, Wyo.), notched 39 assists while also serving up a match-high two aces, helping USU to five aces in the match.
Colorado State had three players in double-digit kills, led by Adrianna Culbert with 14, followed by Samantha Peters' 11 and Michelle Lawrence with 10. Peters also posted a match-high eight block assists, while Deedra Foss logged seven total blocks on two solo and five assists, while also dishing out a match-best 47 assists. Jaime Colaizzi led CSU with 21 digs.
The Aggies hit .099 (43-29-142) for the match, while the Rams posted a .173 (58-29-168) attack percentage. CSU also had 16.5 total team blocks.
Set one opened with a 3-1 Aggie advantage after a Rams' service error and the set was back-and-forth in the early going. USU trailed, 8-7, after a CSU error, but that would be the closest the score would be in the rest of the frame as the Rams scored three unanswered points for an 11-7 lead and the Aggies called a timeout. USU got within 13-11 after a Brainard bash for a kill, but the Rams reeled off four-straight points to open a 17-11 lead, and Utah State called its second and last timeout. A kill by Etimani got the Aggies within 22-17, but CSU scored the next three points, including the last two off a block and a kill to take the set at 25-17.
In the second set, USU again opened up a 3-1 lead after an Etimani kill and then back-to-back blocks by Brainard and VanHoff. The Rams later took a 12-11 lead, but the Aggies scored four-straight, after a kill by Etimani, a kill by VanHoff and consecutive blocks by Everett and Neves to give USU a 15-12 lead and CSU called a timeout. The Aggies' lead grew to 18-13 after an ace by Neves, followed by a block by Brainard and Orr, forcing the Rams to call another timeout. Etimani notched a kill for a 21-15 Aggie lead before the Rams cut the gap to 23-20. Yet Etimani tallied another kill before VanHoff and Orr teamed up for a block as USU took the set with a 25-20 win.
Just like the previous two sets, USU took an early lead, scoring the first three points of the set, on two CSU errors sandwiched around an ace by Rogers-Court. The Rams closed the gap and tied the score, but the Aggies wouldn't let them take the lead and USU later opened up a 12-8 lead after a kill from Etimani and a CSU error, preceding a Rams' timeout. Colorado State clawed back and knotted the score at 20-20 after a block, and it was USU's turn to call timeout. Out of the break, a Brainard kill and a CSU error put the score at 22-20 in the Aggies' favor, but the Rams scored three-straight for a 23-22 lead and Utah State exhausted its timeout allotment with a break. VanHoff smashed a kill to tie it at 23-all, but the Rams got a pair of blocks to capture the set by a 25-23 score.
The Rams charged out to a 10-6 lead in the fourth frame, and after a USU timeout, later stretched their lead to 15-8 for another Aggie break in play. Down 20-10, USU scored the next three points on an Orr kill, an ace by freshman setter Erica Moscoso (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and a CSU error pulled USU within, 20-13. The Aggie rally continued and they got to 21-17 after an ace by Neves, but the Rams thwarted the rally by scoring four of the next five points to take the set at 25-18 and win the match.
Utah State continues its weekend road trip by crossing the Colorado-Wyoming border and facing Wyoming on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m. in Laramie, Wyo.,
The Aggies will return home to host in-state foe Utah Valley in a non-conference match on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
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.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Utah State volleyball team wants to help by raising money for Logan Regional Hospital Foundations's Breast Cancer Services. Pledges are now being gathered for every dig the Aggies make during their six home matches in October as part of USU's "Dig for a Cure" campaign.
For each dig (a defensive move made to control a spiked ball) the Aggies are asking for a donation of $0.25. If the Aggies record 200 total digs in the six matches, a pledge of $0.25 will result in $50. Half of this donation will go to the Logan Regional Hospital Foundation to assist in Breast Cancer Services while the other half will be used to support the USU Volleyball team. Pledges can be made in any amount and flat donations are also accepted and appreciated. Pledge and donation forms will be available at the matches at the marketing/promotions table on the west concourse of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Any pledge or donation received will enter the fan's name into a drawing which will take place the last home match in October, on Thursday, Oct. 31 vs. Wyoming. Prizes include: T-shirts, volleyballs and team photos. Come cheer on the Aggies during their October matches and keep track of their digs to help them "Dig for a Cure." For more information or to donate, contact USU Assistant Coach Taubi Neves at firstname.lastname@example.org or 435-797-2063, or go to: http://bit.ly/RtaUKK.
Fans can also follow the Aggie volleyball program on twitter 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.
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