USU volleyball: Utah State volleyball hosts Seattle Thursday in WAC home opener

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Sept. 20 2012 1:09 p.m. MDT

Returning to the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum for the first time in almost a month, Utah State volleyball hosts league newcomer Seattle on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Aggies' Western Athletic Conference home opener. USU will be seeking its first 3-0 WAC start since 2005, and Aggie head coach Grayson DuBose will be going for his 100th career win.

Utah State is currently 2-0 in WAC play and in its eight seasons in the conference, USU has only ever had a 3-0 league record once before in 2005, which was the Aggies first season in the league. Overall, Utah State will be going for its sixth 3-0 conference start in school history, also doing so in 2000, 1980, 1979, 1978 and 1977. The 1979 Aggie squad has the best conference start to school history with a perfect 10-0 record that year.

DuBose is one win from 100 career wins, as the seventh-year Aggie head coach has a 99-93 (.516) record. When he reaches 100 wins, DuBose would become the second person in a coaching position to reach 100 wins. Marilyn McReavy and Mary Jo Peppler hold the school record with 209 wins as they were co-head coaches from 1976-81.

USU is 6-1 in WAC home openers, winning its last three in a row, with the lone loss coming in 2008. Utah State beat New Mexico State (3-0) in its first ever WAC home match in 2005, Fresno State (3-1) in 2006 and Boise State (3-0) in 2007, before losing to Fresno State (3-1) in 2008. USU then beat San Jose State (3-0) in 2009, Fresno State (3-0) in 2010 and San Jose State (3-0) last season.

The Aggies have a 7-4 overall record this season along with their 2-0 WAC start after opening up league play with two roads wins last weekend, defeating UTSA in four sets on Sept. 13 and sweeping Texas State on Sept. 15. Seattle is 6-6 overall and 1-1 in WAC play as the Redhawks lost their inaugural WAC match to New Mexico State in five sets on Sept. 13 before bouncing back to beat Denver in five on Sept. 15.

Thursday’s visit by Seattle will be the Redhawks first-ever visit to Logan and the second all-time meeting between USU and SU. The only other meeting was in 2010 at the Arizona State Sheraton Classic, and USU won in five sets. The one meeting is the fewest meetings with any WAC foe for Utah State.

The Aggies have a .213 attack percentage, ranking third overall in the WAC, while ranking fourth in WAC only matches hitting .224. Utah State leads the league in blocking in all matches with 3.04 blocks per set, while ranking third in conference only matches at 3.00 bps. The Aggies are fourth overall in the WAC in kills (12.32 per set), while ranking third in conference only matches (14.00). USU is fifth overall in assists (11.29 per set), as well as third in WAC only matches (12.71 aps). Utah State is sixth overall in service aces per set (1.22), while ranking fourth (1.29) in league matches. The Aggies are seventh overall in digs per set (13.22) and fourth in WAC only action (18.57).

This week’s WAC Volleyball Player of the Week is USU senior opposite side hitter Shay Sorensen (North Ogden, Utah), who posted a pair of double-doubles over the weekend and now has a team-leading four on the season. Sorensen is second in WAC only matches in kills per set (4.29) and points per set (4.71), ranking sixth overall in the WAC in points per set (3.55), as well as ninth in WAC only matches in attack percentage (.296/30-9-70).

Seattle is led by senior outside hitter Kaytlyn Dill, who leads SU and is fourth in the WAC overall in kills per set (3.20). She also leads the conference in service aces in all matches (0.56 per set), as well as WAC only matches (1.10 per set). Dill is also 10th in the NCAA in aces per set.

After Thursday's match, USU continues its short homestand by hosting Idaho on Saturday 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 calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.

USU volleyball action can be followed online with live stats available through the "Gametracker" link on the USU website. Aggie volleyball home matches are also streamed online by clicking on the "Watch Live" on the school's website. There is a Utah State All-Access Monthly Subscription for $9.95 and a Utah State All-Access Yearly Subscription for $79.95.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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