Oct. 25, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Behind the sophomore duo of Rachel Orr, tying a career-high with 17 kills, and Paige Neves dishing out 41 assists, Utah State volleyball swept UT Arlington, 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-19) Thursday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
The Mavericks were making their first visit to Logan since 1978, and the Aggies earned the victory the same way they did back then, with a sweep. Thursday's win give USU the season-sweep of the two meetings with new Western Athletic Conference member UTA, and the Aggies now lead the all-time series, 9-5.
Utah State has been victorious in its last three matches in a row, as well as six of its last seven WAC home matches, and USU has won eight of its last nine overall matches. The Aggies improved to 16-7 overall and remain in first place in the conference with an 11-2 record in WAC action, tying its most WAC wins in their eight years in the league, also winning 11 in both 2005 and 2007. The school record for most conference wins in a season is 12 Big West Conference wins in 2001.
UT Arlington suffered its second-straight defeat, and the Mavericks have lost six of their last eight matches in falling to 8-15 overall and 4-7 in WAC play.
Orr, an outside hitter (Thatcher, Ariz.) tied her career-high and matched her jersey number with 17 kills on a .323 (17-7-31) hitting percentage, helping USU hit .206 (47-25-107) as a team.
Neves, a setter (Otto, Wyo.), dished out 41 assists, a new career-high for a three-set match. Her older sister, Chelsi Neves, holds the school record for assists in a three-set match with 58 in 2000. The younger Neves now has dished out 40 or more assists in 10 matches this season and in 16 matches during her career.
Senior opposite side hitter Shay Sorensen (North Ogden, Utah) joined Orr with double-figure kills, posting 12. Fellow senior, outside hitter Josselyn White (Smithfield, Utah) posted a match-high 13 digs. White also added four block assists, giving her 305 for her career and needing one more to tie Tiffany Kitley (1996-99) for No. 9 on USU's career total blocks list.
Redshirt-freshman middle blocker Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah) led the Aggies with five block assists, as USU had 10 total team blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah) added four blocks on one solo and three assists, and Sorensen recorded three block assists.
UTA totalled 11 team blocks, led by Charmaine Whitmore's match-high seven blocks, while Shelby Dickson added four blocks to go with her team-leading nine kills. Valerie Statzer notched eight digs while Amanda Welsh dished out 22 assists. UTA hit .094 (35-25-106) for the match, as USU improved to 6-0 this season when holding the opposition under .100 attack percantage.
The score was tied 10 times in the first set and the lead changed hands six times in the back-and-forth opening frame. USU pulled away from a 16-15 score to open up a 20-16 lead after a pair of UTA attack errors, but the Mavericks charged back and took a 23-21 lead after a block by Whitmore and Dickson. That would be the visitor's last points of the set as the Aggies reeled off the next four points, as USU got to kills from Orr, and a kill by Sorensen before another Maverick attack error ended the set at 25-23 in the home team's favor.
In the second stanza, the Aggies jumped out to a 14-7 lead after a kill from White and later led 19-11 after a solo block by Neves. However USU couldn't put UTA away as the Mavericks stormed back to cut the gap to 23-22 following a kill by Taylor Gross. An Orr kill gave the Aggies set point at 24-22, but a USU attack error and a kill by Dickson sent the set into extra points. With the score tied a 25-all, UTA had back-to-back attack errors and USU took the set at 27-25.
Another Orr kill gave Utah State a 14-8 lead in the third set and the Aggie advantage grew to 19-12 after a solo block by VanHoff. The Mavericks trimmed to 23-19 after a USU attack error, but consecutive kills by Sorensen gave USU the 25-19 set win to complete the sweep.
USU will close out its seven home matches in October by hosting Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.
Utah State will be also be wrapping up its "Dig for a Cure" campaign as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to help raise money for Logan Regional Hospital Foundation's Breast Cancer Services. Pledges are now being gathered for every dig the Aggies make during their seven home matches in October as part of USU's "Dig for a Cure" campaign. 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. More information along with pledge/donation forms can be found here: http://bit.ly/RtaUKK.
The Utah State Campus Store is donating 20 percent of all pink merchandise sales during the month of October to Aggie volleyball's "Dig for a Cure" campaign and their selection can be found online here: http://campusstore.usu.edu/c-225-dig-for-the-cure.aspx.
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.
USU volleyball action can be followed live on the Internet with live stats available through the "GameTracker" link at www.UtahStateAggies.com. Aggie volleyball home matches are also streamed online by clicking on the "Watch Live" link at www.UtahStateAggies.com. There is a Utah State All-Access Monthly Subscription for $9.95 and a Utah State All-Access Yearly Subscription for $79.95.
Fans can follow the Aggie volleyball program at twitter.com/USUVolleyball or on facebook at facebook.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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