USU Volleyball Opens Season-Long Homestand Against NMSU And Denver This Weekend
Oct. 1, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
Utah State volleyball opens a season-long five match homestand this weekend, hosting New Mexico State on Thursday, Oct. 4 and Denver on Saturday, Oct. 6 in a pair of Western Athletic Conference home matches that both start at 7 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
USU opens its month-long "Dig For the Cure" as October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month... Pledges are now being gathered for every dig the Aggies make during their seven home matches in October... Pledge sheets will be available at all the home matches this month... More information can be found here: http://bit.ly/RtaUKK.
Thursday's match is a battle of the top two teams in the WAC standings, as NMSU comes in with a 5-0 league mark atop the standings while USU is second with a 4-1 conference ledger.
In addition to the match-up of the top two teams in the standings, Thursday's match also features the top two teams in the WAC for opponent hitting percentage in conference only matches, as NMSU is first, holding its opponents to a .136 attack percentage while USU is second, limiting its opposition to a hitting percentage of .141.
The match-up Thursday between the navy Aggies of USU and the maroon Aggies of NMSU is the 66th meeting all-time, Utah State's longest series with any WAC foe and Thursday's match will tie for the longest in school history behind the 67 meetings with Utah.
All the players on both USU and Denver's roster were not even born the last time that the Aggies and Pioneers played, as the one previous meeting between USU and DU was in 1983.
Saturday's match features the top two blocking teams in the WAC overall statistics, as USU enters the weekend leading the league in blocks per set (2.96) while DU is second (2.68 bps).
USU's five-match homestand is its longest since a six-match homestand in 2000.
Sophomore setter Paige Neves enters the weekend with 1,411 assists... Neves now needs 84 more assists for the No. 9 spot held by Kalei Arnold (1992-95) with 1,495 assists.
Senior outside hitter Josselyn White enters this week with 257 career block assists, needing one more to tie former teammate Chelsea Fowles (2007-10) with 258.
AGGIES DIGGING FOR A CURE
LOOKING AT UTAH STATE
Utah State continues to lead the WAC overall in blocking at 2.96 blocks per set and the Aggies also are third in the league in WAC only matches at 2.82 blocks per set... USU also is fifth in both overall attack percentage (.206) and WAC only attack percentage (.200)... USU also is seventh in the league overall with 13.95 digs per set while ranking third in WAC only matches with 16.77 dps... With 11.50 assists per set in all matches, the Aggies are tied for fifth overall while ranking fourth in WAC only matches with 12.27 aps... Utah State is also fifth in both overall kills per set (12.45) and WAC only kills per set (13.18)... A 1.12 aces per set ranks the Aggies sixth in the WAC overall while they are tied for eighth in conference only matches with 1.00.
Senior opposite side hitter Shay Sorensen (North Ogden, Utah) is fifth in WAC only matches in kills per set (3.45) while ranking eighth overall (2.93), as well as fifth in conference only matches for points per set (4.14) while ranking sixth overall (3.63)... Sorensen has logged a double-double in five of USU's last eight matches, and has a team-leading six on the season
Senior outside hitter Josselyn White (Smithfield, Utah) has now played in the Aggies' last six matches after missing the previous four and a half matches with illness... White is seventh in the WAC overall for both kills per set (2.97) and points per set (3.50).
Redshirt-freshman middle blocker Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah) leads the Aggies and is second in the WAC in both overall blocks per set (1.55) and conference only matches (1.68)... Brainard also is sixth in the WAC overall in hitting percentage (.309)... With 87 total blocks, Brainard leads the league for total blocks as well also leading the league WAC only matches with 37 total blocks... The 1.55 blocks per set ranks Brainard seventh in the NCAA statistics.
Sophomore setter Paige Neves (Otto, Wyo.) is second in WAC only matches with 11.14 assists per set, ranking third overall with 10.13 aps... Neves became the 12th Aggie volleyball player to reach the 1,000 career assists milestone when USU played in San Diego, Calif., and now with 1,411 assists, Neves has cracked into the top 10, taking over the No. 10 spot from Mindi Jackson (1995-96) with 1,280 assists... Neves needs 84 more assists for the No. 9 spot held by Kalei Arnold (1992-95) with 1,495 assists.
Sophomore middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah) is second on the team and third in the WAC overall for blocks with 1.21 blocks per set, ranking fifth overall in the league with 68 total blocks... VanHoff is tied for eighth in WAC only matches with 1.00 blocks per set... She also is 55th in the NCAA in blocks per set with the 1.21 bps.
In the last three weeks, sophomore libero Ashlan Rogers (Highland, Utah) has climbed from seventh to second overall in the WAC in digs per set (4.04) as well as second in the WAC in conference only matches with 5.14 digs per set... Rogers also is third in the WAC overall in service aces per set (0.32).
Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.) is 10th for both WAC overall kills per set (2.88) and conference only kills per set (3.05).
RUDE WELCOMING TO WAC NEWCOMERS
UTAH STATE IN THE WAC
UTAH STATE IN THE DEE GLEN SMITH SPECTRUM
AGGIES 10TH, BRAINARD SEVENTH IN BLOCKING IN NCAA STATS
DUBOSE FOR 100 PLEASE ALEX
AGGIES AGAINST THE WEEKEND FOES
NEW MEXICO STATE - Utah State is 26-39 all-time against New Mexico State, which includes an 11-17 home record... After NMSU had a nine-match winning streak in the series, USU has won three of the last four meetings, including a five-set win in the semifinals of the 2010 WAC Tournament in Las Vegas, as well as a five-set win in the last meeting, last season in Logan.
DENVER - The Aggies and Pioneers have only one previous meeting, back before any of the players on either teams' rosters were born, back in 1983, meeting in the Northern Colorado Invitational... "Back then" the matches were played to 15 with side out, and due to tournament rules were the best of three sets with the Aggies winning, 2-0 (15-1, 15-1).
TURNING PAIGE 1,000 IN RECORD BOOK
WHITE IN UTAH STATE TOP 10 FOR BOTH ATTACKS AND BLOCKS, CLOSING IN ON KILLS
SORENSEN CHASING AGGIES' TOP 10 FOR KILLS AND HITTING PERCENTAGE
SCOUTING THE WEEKEND FOES
New Mexico State is second in the WAC overall in hitting percentage (.237) but lead the league in conference only matches (.253)...NMSU is also first in conference only matches for opponent hitting percentage (.136) as the southern Aggies are second in WAC only matches for blocks per set (2.90)... In overall matches, NMSU is fourth in opponent hitting percentage (.178) and third in blocks (2.51 bps)... In the other WAC overall stats, New Mexico State is second in service aces per set (1.35), while ranking third in kills per set (13.23) and assists per set (12.10) and 10th in digs (13.00)... In other WAC only match statistics, NMSU is fourth in both kills per set (13.20) and aces per set (1.20) while ranking sixth in assists per set (11.85) and ninth in digs per set (13.00).
NMSU is led by sophomore outside hitter Meredith Hays, who is second in the WAC overall with 4.22 kills per set, ranking fourth in conference only matches with 3.80 kps... Hays also is second in the league overall for points per set (4.82), ranking fourth in conference only matches (4.35 pps)... Additionally, Hays is sixth in the WAC overall for service aces per set (0.28)... Junior setter Ciara Brown is 10th in the WAC overall for assists per set (5.69) while ranking eighth in WAC only matches (5.65)... Junior middle blocker Desiree Scott is fifth in the WAC overall for blocks per set (1.15) as well as fourth in conference only matches (1.45 bps), in addition to ranking fifth in the league overall for hitting percentage (.322).
New Mexico State head coach and former USU assistant coach Mike Jordan is in his 15th season as head coach of the maroon Aggies, and has amassed a career record of 319-142... Jordan spent two seasons (1996-97) as an assistant coach at Utah State.
DENVER - The Pioneers tote an 8-7 overall and 2-3 WAC mark into the weekend and DU will play at San Jose State on Thursday prior to coming to Logan... Denver went 0-2 last week on the road, dropping a five-setter at Air Force on Tuesday before getting swept at New Mexico State on Saturday.
DU has an identical .246 hitting percentage in both overall and WAC only matches, leading the league in overall matches while ranking second in conference only matches... The Pioneers also lead the WAC in blocking in conference only matches (3.12 per set) while ranking second in WAC overall matches in blocking (2.68), behind USU... In overall matches, DU also is third in the WAC in opponent hitting percentage (.167), fourth in both assists per set (11.52) and kills per set (12.48), as well as fifth in service aces per set (1.13) and ninth in digs per set (13.04).
The Pioneers are led by senior middle blocker Faimie Kingsley, who leads the WAC overall in hitting percentage (.390) while ranking second in WAC only matches (.403)... Kingsley also is tops in the conference in blocks per set both overall (1.65) and WAC only matches (2.0)... Junior right side hitter Colleen King is 10th in the WAC overall for attack percentage (.264), ranking seventh in WAC only matches for kills per set (3.29)... For assists per set, sophomore setter Frances Carroll is eighth in the WAC overall (7.69) while ranking ninth in conference only matches (5.59), just ahead of sophomore teammate Bailey Karst who is 10th with 5.50 aps... Senior libero Lyndi Johnson is eighth in the WAC overall for digs per set (3.63), while her 3.00 dps average in league only matches is not in the top 10.
DU head coach Jesse Maloney is in his first year leading the Pioneer's program, coming to Denver after seven years as an assistant coach at CSU... Prior to CSU, Maloney was head coach at Division II Fort Hays State, where he from was head coach from 1999-2004.
Shay Sorensen TABBED WAC VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
A senior opposite side hitter from North Ogden, Utah, Sorensen averaged 4.30 kills on .296 hitting, 3.30 digs and 0.60 blocks per set in a pair of road wins at UTSA and Texas State. She posted a pair of double-doubles to lead Utah State to its first 2-0 start to WAC action since 2007. In Thursday's four-set win over UTSA, Sorensen logged 15 kills and 11 digs, adding a pair of blocks and a service ace. In Saturday's sweep at Texas State, she tallied a match-high 15 kills on a season-high .353 hitting to go with 12 digs and two blocks.
This is the first WAC Player of the Week honor for a USU vollleyball player since Liz McArthur earned the accolade last season on Oct. 17.
Josselyn White NAMED USU ATHLETE OF THE WEEK TWICE
White, a senior outside hitter from Smithfield, Utah (Sky View HS), was the first USU student-athlete to earn the honor this school year, getting recognized after she was named to the Utah State Invitational, sponsored by Gossner Foods, all-tournament team in the season-opener weekend as she helped USU to a 3-1 record and a second-place finish. During the tournament, White hit .278 (43-13-108) with 43 kills, 34 digs and 10 blocks. White posted a career-high .500 attack percentage (14-0-28) in the win against Portland and logged a career-high 18 digs against Southern Utah.
The senior earned it a second time this season after she led USU to a pair of Western Athletic Conference road wins over the weekend of Sept. 27 and Sept. 29, with a four-set win over Louisiana Tech on Sept. 27 and a sweep at UT Arlington on Sept. 29. She tallied her fourth double-double of the season in the win over Louisiana Tech, posting a career-high 20 digs to go with 10 kills. White added a season-high 17 kills on a .429 attack percentage (17-2-35), her third-highest of the season in the sweep of UT Arlington. For the weekend, the senior had a .338 attack percentage (27-5-65), averaging 3.86 kills per set to go with a matching 3.86 digs per set average, adding 0.43 blocks per set and 0.29 aces per set.
This is White's first two career USU Student-Athlete of the Week accolades.
AGGIES NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAMS HISTORY
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE STATE OF UTAH
UTAH STATE RANKED 10TH IN THE NATION IN BLOCKING LAST SEASON
UTAH STATE LED THE WAC IN BLOCKING
RECAPPING LAST SEASON