Sept. 25, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State volleyball will put its first-place standing in the Mountain West Conference on the line on Thursday, Sept. 26 when the Aggies take on the Bulldogs of Fresno State. First serve from Fresno State's Save Mart Center is slated for 8 p.m. (MT).
USU is in pursuit of its 200th all-time conference match victory, as the Aggies enter this weekend with a 199-294 (.404) record in 493 overall conference matches. Utah State has won 17 of its last 20 league matches after being 2-0 in MW this season following an 15-3 league ledger last season in the Aggies' final season in the Western Athletic Conference.
Utah State leads the overall series with Fresno State, 12-9 (.571). Fresno State won the last two meetings with Utah State in 2011, when the two were former WAC foes with the Bulldogs beating the Aggies in five sets in the final regular-season match, at Fresno, and then sweeping the Aggies nine days later in the first-round of the WAC Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev. Those two losses came after USU had won the previous four meetings.
The Aggies have won their last three matches on the way to an 8-4 overall record, including winning their inaugural Mountain West match and enter the weekend atop the MW standings with a 2-0 league ledger. USU swept a home-and-home with Boise State last week, sweeping the Broncos in three sets on Wednesday at Logan, and winning in four sets last Saturday in Boise.
Utah State is hitting .221, averaging 11.96 kills per set. USU also averages 11.21 assists per set, while serving up 1.17 aces per set. On the defensive side of the net, the Aggies post 2.42 blocks per set, holding the opponents to a .191 hitting percentage, and USU is also averaging 14.08 digs per set.
Junior outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.), posts a team-leading 3.40 kills per set, logging a .216 (163-67-444) attack percentage. Orr also records 2.27 digs, topping the team with five double-doubles on the season. She adds 0.58 blocks per set.
Senior middle blocker Alyssa Everett (Perry, Utah) tops the team with a 1.21 blocks per set average, as well as logging a .243 (28-10-74) attack percentage. Junior middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah), spearheads the Aggies' attack with a .262 (95-36-225) hitting percentage with 1.98 kills per set and is second on the team with 1.10 blocks per set.
Junior setter Paige Neves (Otto, Wyo.) dishes out 9.66 assists per set, adding 2.39 digs per set. While averaging 0.71 kills per set, Neves has a .491 (29-2-55) attack percentage. Junior libero Ashlan Rogers-Court (Highland, Utah) leads the team with 3.73 digs per set. Neves tops the team with 11 service aces, while Rogers-Court and freshman defensive specialist Hannah Gleason (Las Flores, Calif.) add 10 aces apiece.
The Bulldogs are 6-6 overall and Thursday is their first MW match of the season. Fresno State is coming off a 2-1 finish at its own Fresno State Classic this past weekend, beating Belmont in five sets, 3-2, on Friday, before sweeping Cal State Bakersfield Saturday morning and getting swept by No. 20 Oregon Saturday night.
FS is hitting .195 as a team, posting 12.67 kills per set, averaging 11.83 assists and 1.29 service aces. Defensively, the Bulldogs average 1.77 blocks and 14.12 digs per set.
Senior outside hitter Korrin Wild leads the Bulldogs with 3.69 kps, while junior middle blocker Maci Murdock tops the team with a .350 (89-26-180) attack percentage. Senior middle blocker Lauren Albertson averages a team-best 0.87 blocks per set, while junior libero Christina Lee averages 3.02 digs per set. Junior setter Cori Ehmen dishes out 10.44 assists per set, while senior right side hitter Holly Franks serves up 0.29 aces per set.
Following Thursday's match, the Aggies then take on San José State (3-7, 0-0 MW) on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. (MT) at SJSU's Event Center (5,000). SJSU joined the MW from the WAC with Utah State this past summer.
Live stats and live video for this weekend's matches will be available via "GameTracker" and "Watch Live" links at www.utahstateaggies.com, the official web site of USU athletics.
The Aggies return home to host New Mexico on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.
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, on facebook at facebook.com/USUAthletics or on instagram at instagram.com/usuathletics.
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