Nov. 6, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State and Air Force will be meeting on the volleyball court for not just the first time this season, but the first time ever on Thursday, Nov. 7. First serve from USAF's Falcon Court at East Gym is set for 6 p.m. (MT).
While USU has completed its two-match Mountain West season series with three teams, Thursday is the first meeting of the season with Air Force, as the Aggies-Falcons match scheduled for Oct. 5 in Logan was postponed due to the partial government shutdown. It is slated to be made up on Monday, Nov. 25.
Fans can follow Thursday's action via via "GameTracker" and "Watch Live" links at www.utahstateaggies.com, the official web site of USU athletics.
The Aggies had their season-long six-match win streak halted with a heart-breaking 3-2 loss to No. 9 Colorado State on Saturday night after taking the first two sets. USU is 15-8 overall and 8-4 in Mountain West, winning 10 of their last 14 matches. USU won its first two Mountain West matches in school history, as the Aggies are in their first year in the MW. In its last action, Utah State beat Wyoming, 3-1, on Thursday before Saturday's wild match, falling in five.
Utah State ranks second in the Mountain West in digs per set (15.31), while ranking third in both opponent hitting percentage (.180) and aces per set (1.24). USU is also fourth in blocks per set (2.68), while ranking eighth in hitting percentage (.207) and ninth in both kills per set (12.52) and assists per set (11.69).
Individually, sophomore middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah) is third in the league in blocks per set both overall (1.31) and MW only matches in blocks (1.48). Senior middle blocker Alyssa Everett (Perry, Utah) is fifth in blocks per set both overall (1.23) and league only matches (1.34).
Junior outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.) is sixth in both overall points (3.81) and overall kills (3.37), while ranking eighth in both league only points (3.59) and kills (3.11).
Sophomore opposite side hitter Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah) is 10th in overall kills per set (2.95), while ranking sixth in MW only in kills (3.16), along with sixth in MW only points (3.73) and league only blocks per set (1.11).
Junior setter Paige Neves (Otto, Wyo.) is fourth in assists in MW only (11.07) and fifth in assists overall (10.46), while also ranking seventh in MW only in aces per set (0.30) and 10th in overall aces (0.27).
Fellow junior, libero Ashlan Rogers-Court (Highland, Utah) is third in digs per set both overall (4.22) and MW only (4.55). Rogers-Court is also fifth in serves aces in MW only (0.32) and ninth in overall aces per set (0.27).
USU is the only MW team with three players in the top 10 of the MW stats in conference matches for blocks per set rankings as VanHoff is third with 1.48 bps, Everett is fifth with 1.34 bps and Brainard is 10th (1.11).
The Falcons are 5-18 overall and 2-9 in MW action, having lost its last two matches in a row and seven of its last eight as a sweep over Nevada on Oct. 24 snapped a five-match losing skid. Last weekend Air Force lost in three at San Diego State on Thursday and in four sets at UNLV on Saturday. The Falcons are 3-5 overall at home this season, including 2-4 in MW play.
Air Force's highest rank in the MW statistics is sixth in aces per set (1.15), while ranking eighth in opponent hitting percentage (.250), ninth in digs per set (13.60), 10th in hitting percentage (.183), kills per set (11.88), assists per set (11.36) and 11th in blocks per set (1.38).
Sophomore outside hitter Akokwe Clement leads the Falcons with 2.85 kills per set, adding 0.88 digs per set and 0.24 blocks per set. Junior middle blocker Ayesha Hein is sixth in the MW in hitting percentage (.350), while junior setter Hillary Keltner is the only other Falcon in the MW stats, ranking sixth in assists (9.66). Sophomore middle blocker Raquel Rosas leads Air Force in blocks per set at 0.71, while junior libero Emma Dridge tops the team in digs at 2.69 dps.
Following Thursday's match, USU head coach Grayson DuBose will then lead his squad into his old stomping grounds at New Mexico (18-5, 8-4 MW) on Saturday, Nov. 9 in a Noon (MT) first serve from UNM's Johnson Center (5,864).
DuBose was an assistant at New Mexico in 2001, after his two-year stint as an assistant at USU from 1999-2000, then departing for UNM with head coach Tom Peterson. While on the Lobos' bench in 2001, DuBose helped lead UNM to a 5-20 overall, 3-11 MW ledger, leaving Albuquerque after one season to go with Peterson to the BYU men's program.
After this road trip, the Aggies then return home to host San José State and Fresno State on Thursday, Nov. 14 and Saturday, Nov. 16, respectively, both in 7 p.m. start times.
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 who can't make the match can follow along with "Watch Live" and "GameTracker" links at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
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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