In the second match of its season-long five-match homestand, Utah State volleyball will take on Denver on Saturday, Oct. 6. First-serve for the match between the Western Athletic Conference leading Aggies and the seventh-place Pioneers is slated for 7 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Fans are encouraged to wear pink for free admittance into Saturday's match. The first 200 fans will receive a free USU volleyball "Dig for the Cure" T-shirt.
USU improved to 11-5 overall and 6-1 in WAC action and took over the top spot in the WAC standings with a sweep of New Mexico State Thursday night, dealing NMSU its first conference loss to fall to 5-1 in league play. Denver got swept at San Jose State Thursday night, sliding to 8-8 overall and 2-4 in WAC competition.
While Thursday's meeting with NMSU was USU's longest series of any WAC foe with the 67th meeting, Saturday's match-up with Denver is just the second all-time meeting in school history. The Aggies and Pioneers have only previous meeting back in 1983. “Back then” the matches were played to 15 with side out and due to tournament rules where the best of three sets with the Aggies winning, 2-0 (15-1, 15-1).
Saturday's match will also feature the top two blocking teams and top two blocking individuals in the WAC. The Aggies lead the league in overall blocks per set (3.01) as well as in conference only matches (2.96), while Denver is second in the conference overall (2.65) and WAC only matches (2.95). Individually, USU redshirt-freshman middle blocker Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah) is second in the WAC overall with 1.53 blocks per set and second in conference only matches with 1.60 bps. Denver senior middle blocker Faimie Kingsley leads the league in overall blocks per set (1.65) and WAC only matches (1.95).
Utah State started its "Dig for a Cure" campaign as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to help raise money for Logan Regional Hospital Foundations's Breast Cancer Services. Pledges are now being gathered for every dig the Aggies make during their seven home matches in October as part of USU's "Dig for a Cure" campaign. Pledges can be made in any amount and flat donations are also accepted and appreciated. Pledge and donation forms will be available at the matches at the marketing/promotions table on the west concourse of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Utah State's longest homestand since 2000, continues when the Aggies take a break from conference play to host in-state foe Utah Valley on Tuesday, Oct. 9. Returning to WAC play, USU will host San Jose State on Saturday, Oct. 13 and UTSA on Monday, Oct. 15. After road matches at Idaho on Thursday, Oct. 18 and at Seattle on Saturday, Oct. 20, USU returns home to host UT Arlington on Thursday, Oct. 25 and Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Oct. 27. All Aggie home matches start at 7 p.m.
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.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company