USU volleyball: Utah State announces 2014 schedule

By Zach Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, May 21 2014 3:40 p.m. MDT

To open the October portion of the ledger, the Aggies will play at New Mexico on Thursday, Oct. 2, in their first road conference match, then play at Air Force on Saturday, Oct. 4. USU will return home to host San José State and Nevada on Thursday, Oct. 9 and Saturday, Oct. 11, respectively.

A match at Boise State on Tuesday, Oct. 14, will be followed by a home match against Fresno State on Thursday, Oct. 16, to complete the first half of MW play. The Aggies open up the second portion of league play at Wyoming and Colorado State on Thursday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 25, respectively. USU then closes out October on Thursday, Oct. 30, by hosting Air Force, then kicks off November action by welcoming New Mexico to town on Saturday, Nov. 1.

A four-match road swing opens at Nevada on Thursday, Nov. 6, before USU heads to San José State on Saturday, Nov. 8. The Aggies then return to the Beehive State but take a break from conference play for an in-state battle at Utah Valley on Monday, Nov. 10, before returning to California on Saturday, Nov. 15, to play at Fresno State.

USU closes out the season with two home matches during a three-match span, opening by hosting UNLV on Wednesday, Nov. 19, before playing its final regular season road match at San Diego State on Saturday, Nov. 22. The Aggies will host Boise State on Tuesday, Nov. 25, in their final home match of the season.

The Mountain West does not have a conference tournament. The first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament will be the first weekend in December.

Utah State finished the 2013 season with a 20-11 overall record and went 13-7 in Mountain West action to finish third in the Aggies' first season in the league. It was USU's second 20-win season in a row and third in the last four years, all under DuBose. After going 21-9 in 2012, Utah State has now posted back-to-back 20-win seasons since 2000 and 2001, when USU won 22 matches in 2000 and 20 in 2001. Overall, the Aggies registered their 12th 20-win season in school history in the 38 seasons of Aggie volleyball.

USU returns its lone all-Mountain West honoree in opposite side hitter Elle Brainard, who will be a junior. The Aggies return four other starters in senior outside hitter Rachel Orr, senior setter Paige Neves, senior middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff and senior libero Ashlan Rogers-Court.

Also returning are senior opposite side hitter Jamaica Alisa, sophomore defensive specialist Hannah Gleason, sophomore opposite side hitter Kayla DeCoursey, sophomore outside hitter Kaylie Kamalu, sophomore middle blocker Carly Lenzen and sophomore setter Erica Moscoso. Outside hitter Maddie Day and middle blocker Hannah Smith redshirted last season and are expected to continue their improvement this spring. Utah State looks to replace their two-player senior class of 2013 in outside hitter Tumua Etimani and middle blocker Alyssa Everett.

Several of the Aggie returners made their marks in the USU record books and will continue their pursuits of several other marks.

Neves finished last season with 1,147 assists, moving up to No. 9 on the USU single-season assists list. She also now has 3,118 career helpers, entering her senior season No. 4 on the Aggies' career assists list.

Rogers-Court ended the 2013 season with 503 digs, becoming just the fifth player in USU history with 500 digs in a single season and first since single-season record holder Christine Morrill's 573 digs in 2010. Additionally, Rogers-Court is the third Aggie player with 1,200 career digs and will open her senior season with 1,203 total digs. Ending with 36 aces last season, Rogers-Court was two aces shy of cracking into the Aggies' single-season aces list.

VanHoff is No. 4 on the single-season block assists list with 143 from the 2013 season, as well as No. 4 on the total blocks list. She also is No. 2 on the USU career total blocks list with 416, while also ranking second on the Aggies' career block assists list with 395.

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