Oct. 15, 2013
Utah State volleyball hit .371, while limiting Utah Valley to .072 as the Aggies swept the Wolverines, 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-15), Tuesday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in a non-conference match.
USU won its second match in a row and its sixth in the last nine to bolster its record to 11-7 overall, while UVU suffered its second loss in its last three matches, evening its record at 11-11. Tuesday was the Aggies first win over the Wolverines in the last four meetings, snapping a three-match losing streak in the series, which Utah State now leads, 6-5, including 4-3 at Logan.
The Aggies' .371 attack percentage (46-10-97) was their fifth match this season hitting over .300, and they're now 5-0 when doing so, as well as 9-0 when leading in attack percentage. USU is also 3-0 when the opposition hits under .100, as the Utah State defense limited Utah Valley to a .072 (26-19-97). The Aggies registered 10.5 total team blocks, the third-straight match that Utah State has had double-digit blocks and the 12th time this season, improving to 8-4 when recording double-figure team blocks.
Junior middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah) recorded a match-high six block assists, while senior middle blocker Alyssa Everett (Perry, Utah), junior outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.) and junior setter Paige Neves notched four blocks each. With her six block assists Tuesday, VanHoff now has 352 career total blocks, moving into the No. 4 spot on USU's career blocks list, passing Erin Cartwright-Davis (2001-03) with 351 blocks. Cartwright-Davis was one of the Aggies' guest coaches for their Blue-White Scrimmage in the preseason. VanHoff also now has 334 career block assists, closing in on the No. 3 spot, held by Amanda Nielsen (2004-07) with 337 block assists.
Sophomore outside hitter Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah) led the USU offensive attack with 12 kills on a .391 (12-3-23) attack percentage, while Orr notched 10 kills on a .318 (10-3-22) attack percentage. Senior outside hitter Tumua Etimani (Richardson, Texas) logged nine kills with a .368 (9-2-19) hitting percentage. VanHoff registered a .429 (6-0-14) attack percentage, while Everett tallied a .500 (4-1-6) hitting percentage.
Neves dished out a match-high 40 assists, giving her 2,602 career assists, becoming just the sixth player in school history with 2,600 assists.
Junior libero Ashlan Rogers-Court (Highland, Utah) tied a match-best with 12 digs, giving her 976 career digs, leaving her five digs shy of the No. 5 spot held by Heather Olmstead (1998-01). Freshman defensive specialist Hannah Gleason (Los Flores, Calif.) added 10 digs to go with tying a career-high two service aces.
Utah Valley was led by Cassie Wahlin, Katie Fritzler and Kalani Norris with five kills each. Brookelyn Hall distributed 20 assists to go with four block assists, as UVU had six total team blocks, and McKenna Tait tallied 12 digs and
The Aggies jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the opening set after a kill by Orr and UVU called a timeout. The Aggie advantage swelled to 16-8 on a Brainard bash, and it reached double-digits for the first time in the set at 19-9 after Gleason served up an ace. Orr had three kills for the Aggies' last three points of the set, winning the first frame at 25-12.
Neves and Everett posted a block for a walkie-talkie score of 10-4 and UVU took a timeout. An ace by Rogers-Court stretched the Utah State lead to 18-7 and Utah Valley tried to slow the onslaught with another break. It was to little avail as an Orr kill opened up a 22-11 gap. Junior outside hitter Jamaica Alisa (St. George, Utah) sealed the set with a kill for a 25-18 score.
The third stanza was much like the first two with Utah State jumping out to an early 6-2 lead after Neves and VanHoff teamed up for a block. Everett and Orr later formed a wall for a block and give the Aggies a 20-12 lead. The match ended off an Aggie point like many of their others had come in the match, with a block, this time by Etimani and VanHoff, sparking the USU celebration with the large, spirited crowd in attendance.
USU resumes Mountain West action at Reno, Nev., against Nevada (2-16, 0-6 MW) on Saturday, Oct. 19 in a 3 p.m. (MT) match-up. The Aggies then return home to host San Diego State on Thursday, Oct. 24 and UNLV on Saturday, Oct. 26. Both matches start at 7 p.m.
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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