Nov. 14, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Before its match Wednesday night, Utah State volleyball honored its three seniors, during the match USU swept Texas State, 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-21), and then after the match, the Aggies celebrated their Western Athletic Conference regular-season title with its fans at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
USU celebrated Senior Night in style, recognizing setter Kassi Hargrove, opposite side hitter Shay Sorensen and outside hitter Josselyn White with a pre-match ceremony. The Aggie senior trio were all on the court together to close out the sweep and their final match in the Spectrum.
Wednesday's win also put the exclamation point on USU's regular-season WAC title, which they secured last Saturday while on the road, and earned the Aggies the number one seed in next week's WAC Tournament, which runs Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 19-21 in San Antonio, Texas.
USU ends the regular-season with a 20-8 overall record and completes league play with a 15-3 conference mark, continuing its milestone season. The 20 wins marks the second time in the last three years under head coach Grayson DuBose to reach the 20-win mark, joining the 24 wins from 2010's WAC Tournament title winning season. Overall, it is the 11th time in school-history to reach the 20-win plateau. USU's 15 conference wins extends its school record for most league wins in a season, bettering the previous mark of 12 Big West Conference wins in 2001. With Wednesday's win, the Aggies have now won their last three home matches in a row, as well as seven of their last eight and 12 of their last 15 overall matches.
Texas State ends regular-season action with a 14-15 mark and 9-9 in WAC play, and will be the seventh seed in the conference tournament.
Wednesday was USU's fourth-straight win over Texas State, improving to 4-1 all-time. With Wednesday's win, the Aggies end up 9-1 against the five newcomer teams to the league.
White (Smithfield, Utah) and sophomore outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.) posted 12 kills apiece, with Orr tallying hers on a career-high .600 attack percentage (12-0-20), while White hit .303 (12-2-33). As a team, USU hit .347 (43-8-101) on the night, its fifth time this season hitting on the plus side of .300, improving to 4-1 when doing so.
Sorensen (North Ogden, Utah), added 10 kills on a .409 hitting clip (10-1-22), and broke into the Aggies' top 10 career kills list, now with 872, moving past Niki Connor (1995-98) with 863 and tying Ingrid Roth (2002-05) for the No. 9 spot with 872. With four block assists Wednesday, Sorensen now has 277 career block assists, also good for the No. 9 mark on the Aggies' career block assists list while remaining No. 10 on the career total blocks list with 288. White also holds the No. 8 spot on the block assists list with 282 and the No. 7 mark on the total blocks list with 315.
Sophomore middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah) posted a match-high five blocks, while fellow middle blocker, redshirt-freshman Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah) added four blocks. Brainard now has 143 blocks on the season, moving up to No. 3 on the Aggies' single-season block assists list and now has 149 total blocks, moving up to No. 4 on the single-season total blocks list. VanHoff now has 129 block assists and 137 total blocks, climbing up to No. 8 on the single-season blocks list and No. 9 on the single-season total blocks list.
Sophomore setter Paige Neves (Otto, Wyo.) dished out 35 assists to go with a team-leading 12 digs for her 10th double-double of the season. Fellow sophomore, libero Ashlan Rogers (Highland, Utah) added 11 digs to go with tying her career-high with three service aces.
Texas State was led by Ashlee Hilbun with 10 kills, while Morgan McDaniel added nine kills and Caylin Mahoney tallied eight, on a team-leading .438 attack percentage, as the Bobcats his .184 (41-18-125) for the match. Caleigh McCorquodale distributed 15 assists while Mahoney added 11. Patti Bradshaw posted eight digs while Alexandra Smith notched three blocks.
Holding onto a 16-14 lead in the opening set, Sorensen served up eight-straight USU points for a 24-14 Aggie advantage, as VanHoff tallied four of her blocks in that span, teaming with Orr for two, Neves for one and posting a solo block for another. After two Texas State points, Sorensen ended the first set just like she started it, with a kill, to give USU the 25-16 set victory.
Texas State has a 14-11 lead in the second set after a block by Mahoney, but the Aggies regained the lead behind Rogers' serving, as she dealt up her three aces in a span of five points. Later back-to-back kills by White gave USU a 22-18 lead and White later capped the set capture for the Aggies at 25-19 with another kill.
After the intermission, USU jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the third frame after a kill by Brainard. The Bobcats clawed back to knot the score at 13-all after a kill by Simms, but Sorensen righted the ship for the Aggies with a kill of her own. Brainard and Hargrove teamed up for a block to give USU set and match point at 24-17, but Texas State wouldn't go away, closing to 24-21 after consecutive Hilbun kills, forcing a USU timeout. Out of the stoppage, a Texas State service error ended the set and match for the Aggies at 25-21, capping the victory and sparking the celebration.
The team posed for a group picture, then took many pictures and mingled with the many spirited Aggie fans.
Utah State will play Monday, Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m. (MT) against the No. 8 seed, who will either be UT Arlington or Seattle, depending on their respective results Thursday night.
Fans can stay up-to-date with WAC Tournament news and information at www.UtahStateAggies.com. All the matches of the WAC Tournament will be streamed by clicking on the "Watch Live" links, and can also be followed with live stats through the "live stats" link.
Fans can also 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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