Nov. 14, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State's women's volleyball team will be the fourth-seed in the upcoming 2011 Western Athletic Conference Tournament held in Las Vegas, Nev., and play fifth-seeded Fresno State in the first round on Monday, Nov. 21 at 8:30 p.m. (MT). The tournament will be played at the Orleans Arena.
Utah State is the defending WAC Tournament Champions as it defeated Nevada (3-1) in the quarterfinals, New Mexico State (3-2) in the semifinals and No. 3 Hawai'i (3-0) in the championship match last year to advance to its fourth NCAA Tournament all-time.
Utah State, who is 5-4 all-time in WAC Tournament play, is one of just three teams to win the league's postseason event along with Hawai'i and BYU as the Rainbow Wahine had won the previous 10 tournaments and the Cougars won the first three.
Utah State is the fourth-seed in the WAC Tournament for the second time in its seven years in league joining the 2008 team. USU was the second-seed in the tournament in 2005 advancing to the championship match, the sixth-seed in 2006, the third seed in 2007, the fourth seed in 2008, and the third seed in 2010. USU did not make the tournament in 2009 as it finished in seventh-place in the WAC with a 6-10 league mark.
Third-seeded New Mexico State will face sixth-seeded San Jose State in the other quarterfinal match Monday with the winner playing second-seeded Idaho on Tuesday in one semifinal. The other semifinal will have the winner of the USU vs. FS match playing top-seeded and sixth-ranked Hawai'i on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 8:30 p.m. (MT). The championship match of the 2011 WAC Tournament will be on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. (MT) and will be televised live on ESPNU.
Utah State is 12-16 overall and concluded WAC play with a 7-7 record as it won at Nevada (3-1) and lost at Fresno State (3-2) to finish the regular season. Fresno State is 13-14 on the season and was also 7-7 in the league.
Utah State and Fresno State split its season series as the Aggies won in Logan in four sets (25-23, 22-25, 25-20, 25-14) and the Bulldogs won in Fresno in five sets (25-21, 25-19, 20-25, 24-16, 15-9) in the last match of the year for both teams. USU holds a 12-8 all-time advantage in the series and this will be the second-ever meeting between the two schools in postseason play as second-seeded Utah State defeated seventh-seeded Fresno State in four sets in the quarterfinals of the 2005 WAC Tournament.
Utah State is led by senior All-American outside hitter Liz McArthur who is hitting .167 and averaging 3.76 kills, 2.35 digs, 0.45 blocks and 0.21 service aces per set. Junior opposite side hitter Shay Sorensen is hitting .203 and averaging 2.60 kills, 0.85 blocks and 0.72 digs per set, and freshman setter Paige Neves is hitting .212 and averaging 8.90 assists, 2.50 digs, 0.73 blocks and 0.55 kills per set. As a team, Utah State is hitting .170 on the year as compared to a .172 hitting percentage for its opponents.
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