by Sean O'Sullivan and Ashley Springer, USU Athletic Media Relations
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State women's volleyball (12-7/4-3 MW) hit .306 (45-11-111), its best in a conference match this year, in its 3-0 victory over Boise State (11-8/4-3 MW) on Tuesday night. Senior outside Rachel Gale-Hammond led the way with a season-high 15 kills, hitting .344 (15-4-32) on the night.
Senior outside Lauren Anderson and senior opposite Kayla DeCoursey also recorded double digit kills, with 13 and 12, respectively. Junior libero Tasia Taylor's 23 digs were one shy of tying the school record for digs in a 3-set match and marked the eighth time she surpassed the 20-dig plateau this season. Junior setter Kassidy Johnson directed the offense with 39 assists.
"We were very efficient in a lot of ways," said USU head coach Grayson DuBose. "Attacking was very efficient, 111 attempts and 11 errors, that's a pretty nice place to be. Our block touched a ton of balls and we were able to return those balls for points, and that's a pretty big deal. Our serving was really good, kept it on the right people and we got those guys a little out of system. So, just an overall efficient volleyball game by us."
The Aggies used their serve to keep Boise State off-balance with a six service aces, two apiece for Gale-Hammond and Anderson, while DeCoursey and redshirt freshman setter Jaysa Funk each added one.
"It's little things. There's a quote we use in our gym a lot when I tend to think of the awesome consequences of the little things, I tend to think there are no little things," DuBose said. "So, little things add up, there's this cumulative effect. By taking care of those little things, you give yourself another chance. You cover a ball, here's another chance. Tasia (Taylor) and our back row digs another ball, and here's another chance for us to go return one for another point and attack well."
In the first set, the Aggies opened with a 3-0 start and led the entirety of the set. The Broncos brought it within two a few times, the last one being 7-5, but USU would go on a five-point run to lead 12-5 after a kill by Gale-Hammond and four attacking errors by Boise State. Utah State led by as many as nine twice, 19-10 and 21-12. BSU started to build some momentum in the end of the set, bringing it to 22-16, but the Aggies won the set 25-17 behind a Gale-Hammond kill.
Utah State opened up the second set in a similar fashion as the first, jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead punctuated by an Anderson service ace. The Aggies went up 11-6 as Funk's tough serve forced a Bronco attacking error. However, Boise State battled back to come within one at 15-14. But, the Aggies used a 7-2 run, capped by a Johnson and junior middle Lauren O'Brien block, to put the set out of reach before an Anderson service ace gave USU the set.
The Aggies opened up the final set with another quick run, as a kill by freshman middle Bailey Downing and a Boise State error put USU up 2-0 early. The teams traded points until a 6-6 tie, where Utah State used another 2-0 run, capped by a Bronco error, to take the lead for good. Gale-Hammond served up a 4-0 run, punctuated by an ace, to put the Aggies up 15-10. Utah State used a 5-3 run to finish the match, as Andersen recorded her 13th kill to end the night.
The Broncos were led offensively by junior outside Sabryn Roberts with her team-leading 10 kills, while senior outside Sierra Nobley put up nine. Defensively, senior libero Maddi Osburn led the BSU back row with 19 digs, while Roberts and redshirt sophomore Celine Christensen both chipped in two blocks.
The Aggies are back in action as they open a three-match road trip at Air Force on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 6:30 p.m.
Fans can also follow the Aggie volleyball program on Twitter @USUVolleyball, on Facebook at USUVolleyball or on Instagram at @usuvolleyball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at @USUAthletics, on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics or on Instagram at @USUAthletics.
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