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