Utah State volleyball's weekend action in Manhattan, Kan., got off to a rocky start with a 3-0 (17-25, 22-25, 23-25) loss to Saint Mary's Friday night at Kansas State's Ahearn Field House.
After winning four-straight matches, the Aggies have dropped their last two matches, sliding to 5-3 overall. Saint Mary's rebounded from getting swept by Kansas State Thursday night to improve to 5-3. Utah State faces KSU Saturday night at 5 p.m. (MT).
USU hit .192 (38-19-99) for the match, while SMC logged a .284 (46-15-109) attack percentage.
Senior opposite side hitter Shay Sorensen (North Ogden, Utah) led USU with 12 kills, hitting .292 (12-5-24) while redshirt-freshman middle blocker Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah) posted nine kills on .294 (9-4-17) attack percentage. Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.) and freshman outside hitter Camdace Richins (Kaysville, Utah) added seven kills apiece, with Orr hitting .300 (7-1-20).
Sophomore setter Paige Neves (Otto, Wyo.) dished out 33 assists Friday night, giving her 1,135 for her career assists and leaving her four shy of the No. 11 spot on USU's career assists list. Sorensen added a team-leading five blocks while Brainard and sophomore middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff posted four each. Sophomore libero Ashlan Rogers (Highland, Utah) logged seven digs to lead USU.
Saint Mary's was led by Jordan Shaw with 15 kills, while Gabby Jolly logged five blocks. Dalas Dodd distributed 37 assists, and Samantha Tinsley posted nine digs.
After Saturday's match against Kansas State, Utah State opens up its final season in the Western Athletic Conference with action in Texas against league newcomers UTSA on Sept. 13 and at Texas State on Sept. 15. The Aggies return home to the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to host another conference new team, Seattle, on Sept. 20.
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.