Sept. 29, 2010
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State's women's volleyball team will host Fresno State Thursday night in its Western Athletic Conference home opener in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum at 7 p.m.
Utah State is 12-2 on the season and 0-1 in the Western Athletic Conference after losing at No. 5 Hawai'i (3-0) in its only match last week. USU, who is ranked 35th in this week's AVCA Coaches Poll, is led by junior outside hitter Liz McArthur who is hitting .262 and averaging 4.38 kills, 2.00 digs, 0.49 blocks and 0.33 service aces per set. Sophomore outside hitter Josselyn White is hitting .166 and averaging 2.49 kills, 1.69 digs and 1.00 blocks per set, while senior setter Chelsea Fowles is hitting .313 and averaging 9.89 assists, 2.22 digs, 0.95 kills, 0.67 blocks and 0.38 service aces per set. As a team, Utah State is hitting .232 on the year as compared to a .162 hitting percentage for its opponents.
With its 12-2 record, Utah State is off to the fourth-best start to a season in school history. USU's 1978 AIAW National Championship team holds the school record for best start to a season with 26 straight wins, while the 1977 team won its first 18 matches and the 1979 AIAW National Runner-up team won 20 of its first 21 matches.
Fresno State is 6-7 on the season and 1-1 in the Western Athletic Conference after losing to Idaho (3-0) and defeating Boise State (3-2) in a pair of home matches last weekend. The Bulldogs, who are 0-2 in road matches this year, are led by junior middle blocker Brianna Clarke who is hitting .375 and averaging 2.58 kills and 1.40 blocks per set. As a team, FSU is hitting .146 on the season and its opponents are hitting .190. Fresno State returns five starters and nine letterwinners from last year's team that went 15-16 and finished in a tie for fourth-place in the WAC with a 7-9 league mark.
Utah State is 9-7 all-time against Fresno State, which includes a 5-2 record at home. The two teams split last year's season series as both teams won at home in four sets. Since joining the WAC, USU is 7-4 against the Bulldogs.
Utah State is 84-37 (.694) at home in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum during the last 10 years, which includes a 62-30 (.674) record against conference opponents. USU is also 43-38 (.531) in WAC play during the last five years, which includes a 28-12 (.700) home record.
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