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USU volleyball: Sorensen earns AVCA honorable mention All-Region accolades

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 4 2012 4:24 p.m. MST

Utah State volleyball student-athlete Shay Sorensen earned American Volleyball Coaches Association honorable mention all-West Region accolades, as the AVCA announced its all-region selections Tuesday.

Sorensen, a senior opposite side hitter from North Ogden, Utah (Weber HS), led USU and ranked sixth in the Western Athletic Conference with 3.13 kills per set, also registering a 3.82 points per set average to rank fifth in the league. She posted a .182 attack percentage (347-174-953), adding 2.34 digs and 0.95 blocks per set this season in helping guide the Aggies to their first-ever WAC regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the WAC Tournament. USU was defeated in the semifinals by New Mexico State, who went on to win the WAC Tournament title.

“I am very pleased and proud of Shay for being recognized for her accomplishments this season," USU head coach Grayson DuBose said. "One thing most people would not know is that she is a former walk-on to our program. Through her hard work and the hard work of her teammates and coaches, she developed into a wonderful volleyball player.”

Sorensen also earned first-team all-WAC honors. She ends her USU career with 888 total kills, moving up to No. 9 on the Aggies' career kills list. Sorensen also finishes at the No. 9 spot on the career block assists list with 280, while at No. 10 on the total blocks list with 291. She was also part of USU's 2012 senior class with outside hitter Josselyn White (Smithfield, Utah) and setter Kassi Hargrove (Reno, Nev.) that are the only senior class in school history with two WAC championships, winning the 2010 tournament title to go with this season's regular season crown.

USU ended its milestone season with a 21-9 overall record and completed league play with a 15-3 conference mark. Utah State won its first-ever regular-season WAC title to go with its 2010 WAC Tournament championship. The Aggies also won 20 matches for the 11th time in school history and second in the last three years under DuBose, winning 24 matches in their 2010 WAC title season. USU, which was picked fourth in the preseason WAC poll, proved the prognosticators wrong in posting a 15-3 WAC record, setting a school-record for most conference wins, bettering the previous mark of 12 Big West Conference wins in 2001.

“It was a great season in the long history of Utah State volleyball, a season of firsts and one that we will look forward to building on in the future,” said DuBose, who was also named the WAC Coach of the Year.

Returning next season for DuBose and the Aggies will be two first-team all-WAC honorees in sophomores setter Paige Neves (Otto, Wyo.) and outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.). Also returning are redshirt-freshman middle blocker Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah), who was named the WAC Freshman of the Year in addition to second-team all-WAC honors and the WAC all-freshman team, and with second-team all-WAC honoree sophomore middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah).

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

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