March 28, 2014
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State volleyball will open its spring action on Saturday, March 29 at a tournament hosted by Utah in Salt Lake City.
This is the first of three events this spring for the Aggie volleyball team, with all three on the road. In their next action, the Aggies will have a controlled practice and scrimmage with Idaho State at Pocatello, Idaho on Saturday, April 5. USU will wrap up its spring season on Saturday, April 12 with a tournament at Utah Valley in Orem.
"The spring is a great time for our team to focus on making the improvements we need to continue to be competitive in the Mountain West," USU head coach Grayson DuBose said. "We look forward to gaining valuable experience in our competitions and getting our younger players some playing time."
Utah State finished the 2013 season with a 20-11 overall record and a 13-7 Mountain West ledger to finish third in the Aggies' first season in the league. It was USU's second 20-win season in a row and third in the last four years, all under DuBose. After going 21-9 in 2012, Utah State has now posted back-to-back 20-win seasons since 2000 and 2001, when USU won 22 matches in 2000 and 20 in 2001. Overall, the Aggies registered their 12th 20-win season in school history in the 38 seasons of Aggie volleyball.
USU returns its lone all-Mountain West honoree in opposite side hitter Elle Brainard, who will be a junior. The Aggies return four other starters in senior outside hitter Rachel Orr, senior setter Paige Neves, senior middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff and senior libero Ashlan Rogers-Court.
Also returning are senior opposite side hitter Jamaica Alisa, sophomore defensive specialist Hannah Gleason, sophomore opposite side hitter Kayle DeCoursey, sophomore outside hitter Kaylie Kamalu, sophomore middle blocker Carly Lenzen and sophomore setter Erica Moscoso. Outside hitter Maddie Day and middle blocker Hannah Smith redshirted last season and are expected to continue their improvement this spring.
Utah State looks to replace their two-player senior class of 2013 in outside hitter Tumua Etimani and middle blocker Alyssa Everett.
Several of the Aggie returners made their marks in the USU record books and will continue their pursuits of several other marks.
Neves finished last season with 1,147 assists, moving up to No. 9 on the USU single-season assists list. She also now has 3,118 career helpers, entering her senior season No. 4 on the Aggies' career assists list.
Rogers-Court ended the 2013 season with 503 digs, becoming just the fifth player in USU history with 500 digs in a single season and first since single-season record holder Christine Morrill's 573 digs in 2010. Additionally, Rogers-Court is the third Aggie player with 1,200 career digs, and will open her senior season with 1,203 total digs. Ending with 36 aces last season, Rogers-Court was two aces shy of cracking into the Aggies' single-season aces list.
VanHoff is No. 4 on the single-season block assists list with 143 from the 2013 season, as well as No. 4 on the total blocks list. She also is No. 2 on the USU career total blocks list with 416, while also ranking second on the Aggies' career block assists list with 395.
Orr ended the year No. 8 on the USU single-season attempts list with 1,111.
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, on facebook at facebook.com/USUAthletics, or on Instagram at instagram.com/USUAthletics.
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