Wrapping up its season-long seven-match road swing, Utah State volleyball will play Texas State on Saturday, Sept. 15. First serve for the Western Athletic Conference match is slated for 1 p.m. (MT) from Texas State's Strahan Coliseum at San Marcos, Texas.
USU is making its first-ever trek to San Marcos. Saturday is the fourth meeting between the Aggies and Bobcats, but the second year in a row as Texas State played in last year's Utah State Invitational. USU won that match in a five-set battle. Texas State is also in its first season in the WAC, after beating San Jose State in four sets Thursday night in the Bobcats' inaugural WAC match to even their record at 6-6.
Utah State brings a 6-4 mark into the match after topping UTSA in four sets (25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 25-20) Thursday. The win snapped a three-match losing skid for the Aggies.
Saturday marks an early season match-up of the top four teams, as USU and Texas State are both 1-0, as are New Mexico State and Idaho, who face off Saturday in Moscow, Idaho.
The Aggies lead the WAC and rank ninth in the NCAA in blocking at 2.99 blocks per set. USU's blocking attack is led by redshirt-freshman Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah) with 1.50 bps, leading the WAC. Sophomore middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah) adds 1.29 bps to rank third in the league.
USU's offense is led by senior outside hitter Josselyn White (Smithfield, Utah), who returned to action Thursday after missing the previous four-and-a-half matches with illness, logged 10 kills to go with 11 digs for her second double-double of the season. White is averaging 3.00 kills per set to rank seventh in the WAC.
Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.) is right behind White with 2.95 kills per set, ranking eighth in the league, adding a .267 attack percentage which ranks seventh. Brainard leads USU with a .353 attack percentage to rank fifth in the WAC.
Sophomore setter Taubi Neves (Otto, Wyo.) is fourth in the WAC with a 9.51 assists per set average, while sophomore libero Ashlan Rogers (Highland, Utah) is eighth in the league with 3.68 digs per set. Rogers is also second in the WAC in service aces with 0.45 per set and 17 total.
Texas State is led by Alexandra Simms with 3.10 kills per set, while Ashlee Hilbun posts a team-leading .208 attack percentage. Caleigh McCorquodale dishes out 6.87 assists per set, while Laura Whalen notches 3.03 digs per set. Molly Ahrens adds 1.00 blocks per set.
Fans can follow this Saturday's action with "live stats," "watch live" and "listen live" links on the USU athletics website.
The Aggies return home to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to host another conference new team, Seattle, on Sept. 20.
Utah State volleyball tickets are available by wisiting the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.