Utah State volleyball fans get their first look at the 2014 edition of Aggie volleyball and their brand new venue when USU hosts its annual Blue-White Scrimmage on Tuesday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m., at the newly-opened Kirby Court at Wayne Estes Center.
Head coach Grayson DuBose is opening his ninth season at the helm of the Aggie program. DuBose and the Aggies return five starters as part of 10 letterwinners from last year's squad that logged a 20-11 overall and 13-7 mark in their first season in the Mountain West. 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 for the first time 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.
"It's always nice to practice and rehearse things like this, where we have to do them so there's some familiarity to everything. We'll wear our jerseys and have a pseudo referee. It will be nice because it will come close to mimicking an actual match, so we're really excited about that," DuBose said. "We're even more excited to play on Kirby Court in the Wayne Estes Center for the first time. It's always great to be at home and will be even better to be in our new venue, plus get some new experience and get ready to go for the season."
Tuesday will also be fans' opportunity to see the USU team in action in its digs of the Wayne Estes Center. Opened in May 2014, the $9.7 million, 32,000 square-foot volleyball competition venue and basketball practice facility contains a regulation-size volleyball competition court and two regulation-size basketball courts with chair back seating for 400 fans as part of the 1,400 seating capacity, along with an athletic training room and in-season strength and conditioning area. Office space for volleyball and men's and women's basketball coaching staffs is also included in the new facility, as well as a locker room and film room for volleyball. Ticketing and concession services are also available on match days. Located inside the foyer of the Wayne Estes Center is a visual tribute of the building's namesake.
USU volleyball 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 outside 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. The Aggies also have three newcomers in freshmen outside hitters Taylor Barnson and Rachel Gale, along with middle blocker Shannon McPherron.
Season tickets for the inaugural Utah State volleyball season are now on sale. Fans can get reserved chair back season tickets for $50, while general admission season tickets are $40. Additionally, fans can purchase a Women's Sports Pass for $75, which is good for general admission to all volleyball, women's basketball and gymnastics home events. If fans purchase their volleyball season tickets by Sept. 1, they can get a free Utah State volleyball seat cushion.
Utah State volleyball season and single-match tickets are available by contacting the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum during its office hours or by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305. Season tickets can also be purchased online.