Aug. 9, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State volleyball will tip off its training for the 2013 season with its first practice on Saturday, Aug. 10, hitting the court of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum at 10:15 a.m.
Head coach Grayson DuBose is starting his eighth season at the helm of the Aggie program, leading USU into its first season in the Mountain West Conference after eight season in the Western Athletic Conference. DuBose and the Aggies return five starters and eight letterwinners from last season's squad that posted a milestone season with a 21-9 overall record and a 15-3 league record. Utah State won its first-ever WAC regular-season title to go with its 2010 WAC Tournament championship in its eighth and final season in the league.
"We are looking forward to being with our team in the gym as we start the 2013 season. This time of year is always a fun one; everyone is refreshed and excited about being back," DuBose said.
The USU volleyball team opens the 2013 season with the Blue-White Scrimmage on Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. Utah State's first action of the 2013 season is on Aug. 30-31 at the University of Utah Tournament. The Aggies then play at the University of Portland Nike Invitational on Sept. 6-7, before playing at in-state foe Weber State on Sept. 10. USU then plays at the Duke University Tournament on Sept. 13-14.
The Aggies will officially kick off their home schedule by hosting Boise State on Sept. 18 at 7 p.m., in USU's Mountain West debut.
Utah State returns 51.9 percent of its kills (717/1,382), 54.1 percent of its points (996.5/1,843.5), 36.4 percent of its service aces (47/82), while also bringing back 49.9 percent of its digs (805/1,614), 69.8 percent of its blocks (436/629) and 91.9 percent of its assists (1,175/1,279) from the 2012 season.
USU was the ninth-best team in the NCAA in blocking (3.0) in 2012. Individually, Elle Brainard ranked 20th in the country in blocking (1.41) last season, while Kaitlyn VanHoff ranked 30th in the nation in blocking (1.33).
Headlining the Aggies' returners are junior setter Paige Neves (Otto, Wyo.) and junior outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.), who both earned first-team all-WAC honors last season.
USU also has two second-team all-WAC honorees returning in junior middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah) and sophomore Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah). In addition to second-team all-WAC honors, Brainard was the WAC Freshman of the Year and was also on the all-freshman team. After excelling at middle blocker last season, Brainard is shifting to opposite side hitter this season.
Adding to the mix are senior middle blocker Alyssa Everett (Perry, Utah), who returns to action after redshirting last season with a knee injury. The Aggies also have seven freshmen on the 2013 roster in outside hitter Maddie Day (Smithfield, Utah), opposite side hitter Kayla DeCoursey (Farmington, Utah), libero Hannah Gleason (Las Flores, Calif.), outside hitter Kaylie Kamalu (Kaysville, Utah), middle blocker Carly Lenzen (Cave Creek, Ariz.), setter Erica Moscoso (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and middle blocker Hannah Smith (Flemming Island, Fla.).
The 2013 USU volleyball team will be holding a free skills clinic on Saturday, Aug. 24. Check in begins at 9:30 a.m. at the west entrance of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum and the clinic will run from 10 a.m. to Noon.
The clinic, which is for children under the age of 14 and adults who are at least 18, will focus on basic volleyball technique as well as providing up-to-date information on rule changes in the collegiate game. All participants will receive a free USU Volleyball T-shirt and the team will be available for autographs following the clinic.
To register online, go to http://bit.ly/19Oo7bL. The registration deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 14. For more information, contact Brian Anderson at Volleyballclinic@utahstateaggies.com.
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.
Fans can also follow the Aggie volleyball program 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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