Aggie Volleyball Battles Bulldogs Of Fresno State Saturday In MW Showdown
Nov. 15, 2013
Utah State volleyball will host Fresno State on Saturday, Nov. 16 in a key Mountain West Conference showdown with second-place in the league standings on the line. First serve from the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum is slated for 7 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
USU improved to 17-9 overall and 10-5 in Mountain West action with a 3-0 sweep over San José State Thursday night, the Aggies' fifth win in their last six matches at home. Utah State's 10-5 MW ledger moves them into a tie for third-place in the league standings with New Mexico, who slid from a second-place tie with Fresno State, USU's opponent Saturday, after UNM fell to 10-5 with a 3-1 loss at league-leader and 10th-ranked Colorado State Thursday night. Fresno State improved to 20-5 overall and 11-4 in MW play with a 3-1 win at Boise State Thursday. The Bulldogs took over sole possession of second-place in the MW standings, setting up a showdown Saturday night between the Aggies and Bulldogs with second-place on the line.
Utah State logged a .420 hitting percentage (48-11-88) Thursday night, the Aggies' fourth time over .400 this season after not hitting over .400 in a match since 2003. Two of the four times have been against San José State, as the Aggies posted a .416 hitting percentage (47-5-101) in a 3-0 sweep on Sept. 28 in San Jose.
Leading the Aggies' charge Thursday night was junior outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.) with 12 kills, hitting .364 (12-4-22), while sophomore opposite side hitter Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah) logged 11 kills hitting at a .556 (11-1-18) clip. Junior outside hitter Tumua Etimani (Richardson, Texas) added 10 kills on a .296 (10-2-27) attack percentage, while junior middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah) posted eight kills on a .333 (8-4-12) hitting percentage. Senior middle blocker Alyssa Everett (Perry, Utah) was a perfect 1.000 with three kills in three attempts, while junior setter Paige Neves (Otto, Wyo.) notched four kills on a .667 attack percentage (4-0-6).
Fresno State battled to a hard-fought, 3-1, win at Boise State Thursday night, dropping the first set, 25-23, before bouncing back to tack set two, 25-17, and the third set, 25-20, then fighting back from down 23-19 in the fourth set to rally for a 26-24 win to take the set and the match.
Senior outside hitter Korrin Wild leads the Bulldogs with 3.82 kills per set, while fellow senior outside hitter Marissa Brand added 3.13 kps. Junior middle blocker Maci Murdock leads FS with 0.84 blocks per set, while freshman defensive specialist Maggie Eppright posts a squad-best 3.45 digs per set. Junior setter/libero Christina Lee dishes out a team-leading 7.88 assists per set and senior right side hitter Holly Franks tops the team with 0.34 service aces per set. Fresno State is 7-2 on the road, including 5-2 in road MW matches.
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.