USU volleyball: Aggies stuff Stags of Fairfield in five sets Saturday

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Aug. 31 2013 10:35 p.m. MDT

The second stanza was much like the first with teams taking turns holding the lead and deficit, before Fairfield pulled away. Trailing 20-13, the Aggies sliced the gap in half with an ace by VanHoff squeezed in between a pair of Orr kills to trail 20-16, forcing a Stags' timeout. Out of the break, Fairfield scored five of the final six points in the set to capture the frame, 25-20, and even the match at one set apiece.

Utah State pulled away from a 9-8 lead with an Orr kill preceding a block by Brainard and Everett for an 11-8 Aggie advantage, and the Stags called a timeout. Out of the break, Fairfield reeled off five unanswered for a 13-11 lead, and it was USU's turn to take a timeout. The see-saw set kept swaying as the Aggies went on a 5-0 streak to open a 16-13 lead, getting another Brainard-Everett tandem block, an Etimani kill and an Orr ace during the spurt. The Stags closed it to 19-18, but the Aggies reeled off six of the next eight points in the set to take the frame, 25-20, taking a 2-1 set advantage.

In the fourth frame, USU scored the first point before Fairfield fired off five unanswered. The Aggies bounced back to tie it at 5-5, but then the Stags went on a 5-0 streak before Etimani regained control for the navy and white with a kill. Utah State got within two at 11-9 after a VanHoff kill, and then she teamed up with Orr for a block. Trailing 16-14, a freshmen fueled rally put USU up 17-16, as Gleason served up an ace and then Moscoso teamed with VanHoff for a block. The Aggies took a 22-21 lead following a kill from Orr, but the Stags scored the next four points, including the last on a long back-and-forth rally, to win the set at 25-22 to force a fifth and final set.

Trailing 6-5 in the final frame, USU reeled off three points in a row on a kill by Orr, then an Etimani kill and an ace from Orr for an 8-6 Aggie advantage at the court change and the Stags took a timeout. Out of the brief stop in play, a Fairfield attack error preceded back-to-back Aggie blocks, the first by Brainard and Everett, then Everett and Etimani, followed by an Orr kill to give USU an 11-6 lead. An attack error by the Aggies made the scoreboard read 11-7, but Fairfield didn't get any closer with another miscue for a 12-7 USU lead. Etimani and Brainard smashed kills before VanHoff and Brainard teamed up for a block to clinch the set and the match in the Aggies' favor at 15-7.

Following this weekend's action, the Aggies play at the University of Portland Nike Invitational on Sept. 6-7, before playing at in-state foe Weber State on Sept. 10. USU then plays at the Duke University Tournament on Sept. 13-14.

The Aggies officially kick off their home schedule by hosting Boise State on Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. in USU's MW debut.

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.

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

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