For the first time since 1990, Utah State volleyball will be playing at UT Arltington, when the Aggies and Mavericks square off on Saturday, Sept. 29. First serve from UTA's College Park Center is slated for 1 p.m. (MT).
Fans can follow Saturday's Western Athletic Conference match-up between USU and UTA through "Gametracker" and "Watch Live" links on the USU website.
Utah State takes a 9-5 overall and 4-1 WAC ledger into Saturday's match after USU won in four sets at Louisiana Tech on Thursday night. The Mavericks improved to 6-10 overall and 2-2 in WAC play also with a four-set win against San Jose State Thursday night. USU leads the all-time series with UTA, 7-5, but the Mavericks have won the last three meetings. USU and UTA have only met three times with one team serving as the home team with the other nine meetings happening on neutral courts, including three in 1981 and twice in 1980. Utah State and UT Arlington first met in 1977, meeting nine times from 1977 to 1981, but have only met three times since, in 1990, 2006 and 2008.
The Aggies lead the WAC in overall matches in blocking with 3.01 per set, while ranking third in WAC only matches with 2.95 bps. Redshirt-freshman Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah) leads USU and ranks second in the conference in overall blocks per set (1.55) and WAC only matches (1.68). Sophomore middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah) is third in the league overall (1.26) and seventh in conference only matches (1.11).
Brainard also is fifth in the league overall for attack percentage (.328). Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.) is eighth in the WAC statistics overall for kills per set (2.91), while senior opposite side hitter Shay Sorensen (North Ogden, Utah) is ninth in kills (2.89) and seventh in WAC only matches (3.42). Sorensen also is sixth in points per set overall (3.58) and fifth in WAC only matches (4.05).
Sophomore setter Paige Neves (Otto, Wyo.) is fourth in the league overall in assists per set (9.94), while ranking third in conference only matches (10.79). Fellow sophomore, libero Ashlan Rogers (Highland, Utah) leads the league in conference only matches in digs per set (5.16), while ranking second overall (3.98). Also, Rogers is third in the WAC overall for aces per set (0.34).
Senior outside hitter Josselyn White (Smithfield, Utah) is ninth in the league overall for points per set (3.31).
UT Arlington leads the league in WAC only matches for kills per set (14.21), ranking fourth in overall matches (12.47). The Mavericks are led by junior outside hitter Shelby Dickson, who is seventh in the WAC overall for kps (2.97), while ranking tied for eighth in league only matches with teammate sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Taylor Gross, both averaging 3.21 kps.
After this road trip, USU opens up a season-long five-match homestand starting with New Mexico State on Thursday, Oct. 4 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.