Aggie Spikers Host Idaho State, Syracuse and Texas State In Second Annual Utah State Invitational
Aug. 30, 2011
LOGAN, Utah -
Weekly Volleyball Release
Release #2 8/30/10
UTAH STATE INVITATIONAL
Sept. 1 * IDAHO STATE * 7 p.m.
Sept. 2 * SYRACUSE * 7 p.m.
Sept. 3 * TEXAS STATE * 7 p.m.
Utah State (1-2) will play three matches this week as it hosts Idaho State (1-3), Syracuse (3-0) and Texas State (2-1) in its second annual Utah State Invitational, sponsored by Gossner Foods, from Sept. 1-3.
UTAH STATE INVITATIONAL
Utah State will begin the Utah State Invitational on Thursday at 7 p.m., against Idaho State followed by a match against Syracuse Friday night at 7 p.m. USU will then conclude the tournament against Texas State on Saturday at 7 p.m. In other matches at the Utah State Invitational, Texas State will play Idaho State at 5 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, Texas State will play Syracuse at 11 a.m., followed by Idaho State versus Syracuse at 5 p.m.
LIVE STATS AND VIDEO
Live stats and live video of every match during the 2011 Utah State Invitational are available via the USU Athletics web site at www.utahstateaggies.com.
LOOKING AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 1-2 on the season after losing to Pacific (3-0), defeating Drake (3-0) and losing to Southern Utah (3-2) in the SUU hosted Crystal Inn Thunderbird Invitational last weekend. The Aggies are led by senior All-American outside hitter Liz McArthur who is hitting .094 and averaging 3.18 kills, 2.45 digs, 0.64 blocks and 0.09 service aces per set. Junior opposite side hitter Shay Sorensen is hitting .160 and averaging 2.27 kills, 1.09 digs and 0.91 blocks per set, and junior outside hitter Josselyn White is hitting .136 and averaging 1.89 kills, 2.44 digs and 1.56 blocks per set. As a team, Utah State is hitting .136 on the year as compared to a .142 hitting percentage for its opponents.
UTAH STATE RETURNS ALL-AMERICAN
Highlighting Utah State's three returning starters is senior outside hitter Liz McArthur who earned honorable mention All-American honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) in 2010. McArthur was also named first-team all-WAC as a junior and the Most Valuable Player of the 2010 WAC Tournament as USU defeated Nevada (3-1), New Mexico State (3-2) and top-seeded and third-ranked Hawai'i (3-0) in the championship match.
UTAH STATE RETURNS THREE STARTERS AND SIX LETTERWINNERS
Utah State returns three starters and six letterwinners from last year's team that went 24-9 overall and finished in third-place in the Western Athletic Conference with a 9-7 league record. Among those starters returning for USU is senior Liz McArthur (OH), and juniors Shay Sorensen (OPP) and Josselyn White (OH). Also returning for USU are three reserves in juniors Laurel Bodily (LIB) and Kassi Hargrove (S), and sophomore Tumua Etimani (OH). USU will also have the services of three redshirts in sophomore Nicole Gneiting-Theurer (MB) and freshmen Jamaica Alisa (OPP) and Paige Neves (S).
UTAH STATE IN HOME OPENERS AND TOURNAMENT PLAY
Utah State is 18-17 (.514) all-time in home openers including a 4-1 (.800) record under sixth-year head coach Grayson DuBose. USU is also 49-46 (.516) in regular season tournaments over the last 12 years.
UTAH STATE IN THE DEE GLEN SMITH SPECTRUM
Utah State is 88-41 (.682) at home in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum during the last 12 years, which includes a 21-7 (.750) record against non-conference opponents
Utah State will compete in four matches during the week as it plays at Weber State on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m., before traveling to Long Beach, Calif., to compete in the Long Beach State Baden Classic. USU will begin the tournament against Oregon State on Friday, Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. (MT) and then play host Long Beach State and SMU on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 12 p.m. (MT) and 6 p.m. (MT), respectively.
UTAH STATE LEADING THE WAC IN BLOCKING, RANKS SECOND IN DIGS
As of Monday, Aug. 29, Utah State ranks first in the WAC in blocks per set (3.55), second in digs per set (16.91), fifth in service aces per set (0.91), seventh in kills per set (10.00), seventh in assists per set (9.55) and seventh in hitting percentage (.136).
WHITE RANKS FIRST IN THE WAC IN BLOCKING
As of Monday, Aug. 29, junior outside hitter Josselyn White ranks first in blocks per set (1.56) and sixth in service aces per set (0.44). Junior setter Kassi Hargrove ranks third in digs per set (4.75) and fifth in assists per set (9.38). Sophomore middle blocker Nicole Gneiting-Theurer ranks second in blocks per set (1.40). Junior middle blocker Alyssa Everett ranks third in blocks pet set (1.38). Junior libero Laurel Bodily ranks fourth in digs per set (4.45) and senior outside hitter Liz McArthur ranks 10th in kills per set (3.18).
RECAPPING LAST WEEKEND
Utah State posted a 1-2 record at the Southern Utah hosted Thunderbird Invitational as it lost to Pacific (3-0), defeated Drake (3-0) and lost to SUU (3-2). Against the Tigers, senior All-American outside hitter Liz McArthur had a team-best nine kills, while freshman outside hitter Rachel Orr add seven kills. USU hit .083 (26-17-108) in the match and UOP hit .282 (50-15-124). Against the Bulldogs, McArthur recorded her first double-double of the season and 13th of her career with 11 kills and 10 digs, while junior outside hitter Josselyn White had eight kills, 11 digs, five block assists and two service aces. USU hit .178 (35-14-118) in the match and Drake hit .000 (31-31-128). Against the Thunderbirds, McArthur posted another double-double with 15 kills and 12 digs, while junior opposite side hitter Shay Sorensen also had 15 kills in the match. Junior libero Laurel Bodily notched a career-high 18 digs and freshman libero Ashlan Rogers had a season-best 15 digs. USU hit .141 (49-26-163) in the match and SUU hit .146 (64-38-178).
BODILY NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Junior libero Laurel Bodily was named to the Southern Utah hosted Crystal Inn Thunderbird Invitational all-tournament team as she averaged 4.45 digs per set during the weekend as Utah State lost to Pacific (3-0), defeated Drake (3-0) and lost to the host Thunderbirds (3-2). Bodily began the tournament with 15 digs against the Tigers, had 16 digs against the Bulldogs and then recorded a career-high 18 digs against SUU. It is the first time in her career that Bodily has been named to an all-tournament team.
SCOUTING IDAHO STATE
Idaho State is 1-3 on the season after losing to Tulane (3-0), Missouri (3-0) and North Dakota State (3-0), and defeating Binghamton (3-0) at a tournament hosted by Missouri last weekend. The Bengals are led by junior outside hitter Breanne Van Every who is hitting .176 and averaging 3.33 kills and 1.58 digs per set. As a team, ISU is hitting .166 on the season and its opponents are hitting .303. Idaho State returns three starters and six letterwinners from last year's team that went 18-13 and finished in a tie for third-place in the Big Sky Conference with a 9-7 record. Chad Teichert is in his fifth season as the Bengals head coach and has an overall record of 42-51.
VERSUS THE BENGALS
Utah State is 22-27 all-time against Idaho State, but USU has won 10 of the last 12 meetings in the series. The last time the two teams met was during the 2009 season with USU winning in three sets at home.
Syracuse is 3-0 on the season following home wins against Sacred Heart (3-0), Youngstown State (3-2) and Siena (3-0) in its own tournament last weekend. The Orange is led by senior outside hitter Noemie Lefebvre who is hitting .224 on the season and averaging 4.40 kills, 3.60 digs and 0.70 blocks per set. As a team, Syracuse is hitting .187 on the season and its opponents are hitting .081. The Orange return four starters and nine letterwinners from last year's team that went 23-9 overall and finished in ninth-place in the Big East Conference with a 5-9 mark. Jing Pu is 329-207 in 17 years as the head coach at Syracuse and 468-259 in 22 seasons as a collegiate head coach.
VERSUS THE ORANGE
Utah State and Syracuse will be meeting for the first time ever this weekend.
UTAH STATE-SYRACUSE CONNECTIONS
Syracuse head coach Jing Pu was an assistant for Utah State's volleyball team for head coach Steve Carlat from 1985-89 and earned a master's of education in health, physical education and recreation from Utah State in 1989.
SCOUTING TEXAS STATE
Texas State is 2-1 on the season after defeating Alabama State (3-1) and Austin Peay (3-1) and losing to Alabama (3-2) in a tournament hosted by the Crimson Tide. The Bobcats are led by sophomore outside hitter Melissa Toth who is hitting .246 and averaging 3.00 kills and 0.55 blocks per set. As a team, Texas State is hitting .249 on the season and its opponents are hitting .129. Texas State returns three starters and nine letterwinners from last year's team that went 19-12 and finished in second-place in the Southland Conference with a 12-4 record. Karen Chisum is in her 32nd year as the Bobcats head coach an has an overall record of 718-460-3.
VERSUS THE BOBCATS
Utah State is 1-1 all-time against Texas State as it lost to the Bobcats in three sets during the 1990 season at a tournament hosted by Texas-Arlington and then defeated TSU in four sets to begin the 2003 season at a tournament hosted by Weber State.
UTAH STATE PICKED TO FINISH THIRD IN WAC
Utah State is picked to finish third in the Western Athletic Conference this season behind Hawai'i and New Mexico State, while senior Liz McArthur (OH), and juniors Shay Sorensen (OPP) and Josselyn White (OH) were all named to the league's preseason team.
MCARTHUR RANKS SIXTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN KILLS
Senior outside hitter Liz McArthur ranks sixth all-time at Utah State with 1,060 career kills and fourth all-time with 3,128 career attempts. Zuzana Cernianska (2002-05) holds the all-time school record with 1,813 career kills and 4,423 career attempts.
UTAH STATE RETURNS A LOT OF PRODUCTION FROM 2009
With three starters and six letterwinners returning from last year's team, Utah State returns a lot of production in a lot of different areas. The following is a breakdown of what USU's returns and what it lost from the 2010 season.
Here is a breakdown of what Utah State returns in 2011.
Kills (1,051/1,589) 66.1%
Points (1,300.0/2,122.5) 61.2%
Service Aces (103/169) 60.9%
Digs (834/1,749) 47.7%
Blocks (270/695) 38.8%
Assists (97/1,454) 6.7%
FROM THE STATE OF UTAH
Of the 17 players on Utah State's roster, nine are from the state of Utah. Those nine players from the "Beehive State" are senior Liz McArthur
(St. George), juniors Alyssa Everett
(Perry), Kassie Mendenhall
(Sandy), Shay Sorensen
(North Ogden) and Josselyn White
(Smithfield), and freshmen Jamaica Alisa
(St. George), Elle Brainard
(Saratoga Springs), Ashlan Rogers
(Highland) and Kaitlyn VanHoff
LOOKING BACK AT THE 2010 UTAH STATE INVITATIONAL
Utah State finished in third-place at the 2010 Utah State Invitational as it defeated Loyola Marymount (3-2) and UC Riverside (3-1), and lost to Utah Valley (3-2). Loyola Marymount won the tournament with a 2-1 record, while Utah Valley finished second with a 2-1 record. UC Riverside lost all three of its matches.
2010 UTAH STATE INVITATIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Utah State had two players on the 2010 Utah State Invitational All-Tournament team in senior outside hitter Liz McArthur and libero Christine Morrill.
RETURNING PLAYER NOTES
#3 - Tumua Etimani - Has played in all three matches this year... Had one kill against Pacific and two digs against Southern Utah.
#4 - Laurel Bodily - Named to the Southern Utah hosted Crystal Inn Thunderbird Invitational all-tournament team as she averaged 4.45 digs per set... Had a career-high 18 digs against Southern Utah... Has recorded double-digit digs 23 times in her career.
#5 - Ashlan Rogers - Has played in all three matches during her first year at Utah State and currently ranks third on the team averaging 2.45 digs per set... Had a season-high 15 digs at Southern Utah.
#8 - Kassi Hargrove - Has started all three matches this year at setter and currently ranks third in the WAC in digs per set (4.75) and fifth in assists per set (9.38)... Recorded a career-high 30 assists against Drake and a career-high 17 digs against Pacific.
#9 - Paige Neves - Saw her first extensive playing time of the season against Southern Utah and had 20 assists, four blocks, three digs and two kills.
#10 - Shay Sorensen - Recorded a season-high 15 kills against Southern Utah and tied a career-high with six digs and two assists against Pacific... Hitting .160 on the season and averaging 2.27 kills, 1.09 digs and 0.91 blocks per set.
#11 - Nicole Gneiting-Theurer - Has started each of the first three matches at middle blocker and currently ranks second on the team and second in the WAC with 1.40 blocks per set... Had four kills and five blocks against Drake and a season-high seven blocks against Southern Utah... Hitting .050 on the season and averaging 0.60 kills per set.
#13 - Kaitlyn VanHoff - Hitting a team-best .444 thus far this year and is averaging 1.50 kills and 2.75 blocks per set... Had season-highs with five kills and eight blocks against Southern Utah.
#14 - Alyssa Everett - Has started each of the first three matches for Utah State at middle blocker and currently ranks third on the team and third in the WAC with 1.38 blocks per set... Hitting .115 on the season and averaging 1.00 kills per set... Had four kills against Pacific and eight blocks against Drake.
#17 - Rachel Orr - Had seven kills against Pacific in her first career start... Hitting .192 on the season and averaging 2.25 kills per set.
#18 - Liz McArthur - Has recorded double-doubles in each of her last two matches as she had 11 kills and 10 digs against Drake, and had 15 kills and 12 digs against Southern Utah... Has 14 career double-doubles and has posted double-digit kills 55 times in her career... Currently ranks 10th in the WAC with 3.18 kills per set... Is hitting .094 on the season and averaging 2.45 digs and 0.64 blocks per set.
#23 - Josselyn White - Hitting .136 on the season and averaging 1.89 kills, 2.44 digs, 1.56 blocks and 0.44 service aces per set... Currently ranks first in the WAC in blocks per set and sixth in service aces per set... Had a season-high 11 digs against Drake and tied her career-high with seven blocks against Southern Utah.
HEAD COACH Grayson DuBose
Grayson DuBose is entering his sixth season as Utah State's head volleyball coach after being hired on March 27, 2006.
In his five years at USU, DuBose (pronounced Do-Boz) has brought stability to one of the top programs in the WAC as he has coached two All-Americans, 15 all-WAC selections, 39 academic all-WAC honorees and six academic all-district recipients. He is also one of just four coaches in school history to have a winning record and is five victories away from becoming the second-winningest coach in school history.
Utah State had one of its best seasons in school history in 2010 winning its first-ever WAC Tournament Championship and advancing to its fourth NCAA Tournament in school history. Overall, Utah State became just the third team in the history of the WAC to win its tournament championship as it was the first school in 11 years to defeat perennial power Hawai'i in the championship match. USU finished the year with a 24-9 record, including a third-place conference finish with a 9-7 league mark. Those 24 wins in 2010 were not only the seventh-most in school history, but the most since 1982. Utah State also had four players earn all-WAC honors during the season, including junior outside hitter Liz McArthur who was named to the first-team. McArthur was also named the Most Valuable Player of the 2010 WAC Tournament and went on to earn American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) honorable mention All-American honors. USU also had seven players earn academic all-WAC honors in 2010, while senior middle blocker Katie Astle joined McArthur on the academic all-district team. DuBose also received national attention in 2010 as he was named one of five finalists for the Collegiate Volleyball Update National Coach of the Year award.
DuBose also had plenty of success during the 2007 season as he led Utah State to a 17-13 record and a third-place conference finish with an 11-5 mark. Among those 11 league victories was one of the biggest wins in school history as USU posted a three-set sweep at No. 10 Hawai'i, snapping an 108-match home conference winning streak for the Rainbow Wahine.
Following the 2007 season, DuBose had four players recognized by the WAC as senior Amanda Nielson was named to the league's first-team and an AVCA honorable mention All-American, while setter Chelsea Fowles was named the freshman of the year in the WAC. DuBose was also honored in 2007 as he became the first volleyball coach in school history to garner conference coach of the year honors.
Prior to accepting the head coaching position at Utah State, DuBose spent four seasons (2003-06) as an assistant on Brigham Young University's men's volleyball team.
DuBose began his collegiate coaching career at Utah State from 1999-2000 as an assistant to Tom Peterson. During that time, the Aggies won the Eastern Division of the Big West Conference in 1999 and advanced to the school's first-ever NCAA Tournament in 2000, defeating Missouri in the first round. USU finished the 2000 season ranked 22nd in the country, the program's first-ever top 25 ranking.
In his four seasons at Brigham Young, DuBose helped lead the Cougar's men's program to a 90-30 (.750) record, including a National Championship in 2004 and a second-place finish at the 2003 NCAA Tournament. During his time at BYU, he coached nine All-Americans, including the 2004 NCAA Player of the Year.
DuBose graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in history in 1993 and then received his teaching certificate from Utah State in 1995. He and his wife Lenonnie have three children, Kline (13), Cassandra (11) and Jackson (7).
Year School Overall WAC
2006 Utah State 13-19 (.406) 6-10 (.375)
2007 Utah State 17-13 (.567) 11-5 (.688)
2008 Utah State 11-17 (.393) 9-7 (.562)
2009 Utah State 15-14 (.517) 6-10 (.375)
2010 Utah State 24-9 (.727) 9-7 (.563)
2011 Utah State 1-2 (.333) 0-0 (.000)
Totals 81-74 (.523) 41-39 (.513)