Oct. 23, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State volleyball will open at season-long four-match homestand by taking on San Diego State on Thursday, Oct. 24. First serve is a 7 p.m. (MT) from the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
USU wraps up the first half of Mountain West conference action and opens the second half with its season-long four-match homestand and Thursday will be just the Aggies' fourth home match of the season.
Utah State won seven of its last 10 matches in posting a 12-7 overall record. USU's ledger is bolstered by a 5-3 Mountain West mark, including winning its first two Mountain West matches. In last week's action, the Aggies swept their way to a pair of victories, beating in-state foe Utah Valley on Oct. 15 in a non-conference match, before resuming MW action with a sweep at Nevada on Oct. 19. According to available records, Thursday is SDSU's second-ever visit to Logan and first since 1983. Utah State's trails the overall series with San Diego State, 6-4-1, with the Aztecs winning six of the last seven meetings, including the most recent match-up, last season, 3-1, in SDSU's Aztec Challenge.
The reining Mountain West Volleyball Player of the Week, USU junior outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.), leads the Aggies with 3.39 kills per set, logging a .194 (244-112-682) attack percentage. Orr also registers 2.39 digs per set, co-leading the team with eight double-doubles on the season. She also adds 0.62 blocks per set. Orr is sixth in overall in the MW statistics in both points (3.90) and kills (3.39), while ranking sixth in league only in kills (3.21) and seventh in points (3.71).
Utah State ranks third in the Mountain West in opponent hitting percentage (.181), while also ranking third in aces (1.22), as well as ranking fourth in the league in blocks (2.63). USU is also seventh in digs per set (14.64), eighth in hitting percentage (.207) and ninth in both kills per set (12.28) and assists per set (11.44).
In MW only rankings, the Aggies top the conference in aces per set (1.32), while ranking second in both opponent hitting percentage (.165) and opponent hitting percentage (.165). USU is also sixth in digs per set (15.04), eighth in hitting percentage (.190), ninth in kills per set (12.79) and 10th in assists per set (11.79).
Individually, sophomore middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah) is third in the league overall in blocks per set (1.26), while ranking tied for third in MW only matches in blocks with teammate, senior middle blocker Alyssa Everett (Perry, Utah) at 1.46 bps. Everett is also fourth in overall blocks per set (1.25).
While not ranking in the overall stats, sophomore opposite side hitter Elle Brainard is seventh in the MW only stats in kills per set (3.07), eighth in blocks per set (1.25) and ninth in points per set (3.70).
Junior setter Paige Neves is fifth in assists both overall (10.15) and league only matches (10.71), while also ranking 10th in MW only in aces per set (0.29). Fellow junior, libero Ashlan Rogers-Court is fifth in overall digs per set (3.92), while ranking sixth in MW only (3.96). Rogers-Court is also ninth in overall aces per set (0.26), while ranking fifth in MW only (0.32).
Three Aggies enter this weekend with the opportunity to climb up in the USU record books. Neves now has 2,631 assists, moving up to No. 5 on USU's career list, and now needs 178 assists to tie her older sister, Chelsi Neves (2000-01), with 2,809 career assists. Rogers-Court enters the weekend with 982 career digs, holding down the No. 5 spot on the USU career digs list and needing just 18 digs to become only the fifth player in Aggie volleyball history to reach the 1,000 career digs plateau. VanHoff is now No. 3 on the USU block assists list with 338 career block assists. She needs 34 more block assists to catch Ingrid Roth (2002-05) for the No. 2 spot. VanHoff also is No. 4 on the Aggies' career total blocks list with 356 total blocks, and needs three total blocks to catch Amanda Nielson (2004-07) for the No. 3 spot with 359 career total blocks.
The Aztecs are an even .500 both overall and in MW play, posting a 9-9 overall ledger and a 4-4 MW mark. SDSU lost to Wyoming, 3-1, on Thursday before also losing, 3-1 to No. 12 Colorado State on Saturday.
San Diego State is second in the MW in kills (13.99), assists (13.14) and digs (15.39), while ranking fifth in hitting percentage (.211) and sixth in blocks (2.28). The Aztecs also are seventh in both opponent hitting percentage (.207) and service aces (1.11).
SDSU is led by senior outside hitter Summer Nash, who is fifth in the MW in both kills (3.45) and points (3.97). Senior middle blocker Emily Harris is seventh in attack percentage (.341), while sophomore middle blocker Kaja Sandberg is seventh in blocks (1.15). Senior setter Johnna Fouch, the MW Preseason Player of the Year and Preseason first-team all-MW player, ranks sixth in the league in assists (9.63 saps). Junior outside hitter Michelle Waber is seventh in the conference in kills (3.09), while senior libero Courtney Vaccarello is sixth in the MW in digs (3.79)
Fans who can't make the match can follow along with "Watch Live" and "GameTracker" links at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
USU continues its homestand by hosting UNLV on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
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.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Utah State volleyball team wants to help by raising money for Logan Regional Hospital Foundations's Breast Cancer Services. Pledges are now being gathered for every dig the Aggies make during their six home matches in October as part of USU's "Dig for a Cure" campaign.
For each dig (a defensive move made to control a spiked ball) the Aggies are asking for a donation of $0.25. If the Aggies record 200 total digs in the six matches, a pledge of $0.25 will result in $50. Half of this donation will go to the Logan Regional Hospital Foundation to assist in Breast Cancer Services while the other half will be used to support the USU Volleyball team. Pledges can be made in any amount and flat donations are also accepted and appreciated. Pledge and donation forms will be available at the matches at the marketing/promotions table on the west concourse of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Any pledge or donation received will enter the fan's name into a drawing which will take place the last home match in October, on Thursday, Oct. 31 vs. Wyoming. Prizes include: T-shirts, volleyballs and team photos. Come cheer on the Aggies during their October matches and keep track of their digs to help them "Dig for a Cure." For more information or to donate, contact USU Assistant Coach Taubi Neves at firstname.lastname@example.org or 435-797-2063, or go to: http://bit.ly/RtaUKK.
Fans can also follow the Aggie volleyball program on twitter 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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