PROVO, Utah – Sophomore opposite side hitter Shay Sorensen recorded a career-high 16 kills, including the final point of the match, and senior middle blocker Shantell Durrant posted a career-high 10 blocks to rally Utah State past Brigham Young in five sets (25-23, 25-23, 19-25, 19-25, 18-16) here Tuesday inside the Smith Fieldhouse. After Utah State won the first two sets, Brigham Young won the next two and seemed to be on its way to the come-from-behind win as it led 12-7 in the fifth set before USU’s senior-laden team went on a 6-1 run to tie it at 13-all behind two kills and a block from Durrant (American Fork, Utah). BYU had one match-point at 14-13 that it couldn’t convert and held USU at bay for two match-points before Sorensen hit the game-winner. Utah State, who is ranked 28th in the nation in the latest AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll, improves to 10-0 on the season with the win and Brigham Young drops to 3-7 with the loss. For USU, it is the best start to a season since the 1979 AIAW National Runner-up team won its first 11 matches. Utah State has now won seven of its last 12 matches against Brigham Young, including each of the last two. Sorensen (North Ogden, Utah) added two blocks in the match and hit a team-high .382 (16-3-34) for Utah State, while junior outside hitter Liz McArthur (St. George, Utah) posted her third double-double of the season with 15 kills and 11 digs. Senior setter Chelsea Fowles (Hollister, Calif.) added a career-high eight blocks to go along with three service aces, and sophomore outside hitter Josselyn White (Smithfield, Utah) had 12 kills, six blocks and four digs. Utah State also got solid play from its back row as senior libero Christine Morrill (Neola, Utah) had 18 digs and three service aces, while sophomore libero Laurel Bodily (Idaho Falls, Idaho) had nine digs and tied her career-high with three service aces as the Aggies recorded a season-high 10 aces in the match. Brigham Young had four players notch double-figure kills, led by Christie Carpenter with 17. Utah State got off to a fast start as it took an early 11-4 lead and later led 19-12 before Brigham Young rallied to get within 22-21. USU never trailed in the first set as it hit .188 (14-8-32) and BYU hit .190 (15-7-42). McArthur led the Aggies with five kills in the opening set, while Sorensen had four. Brigham Young scored the first four points of the second set and led 12-6 before Utah State started chipping away at the deficit and tied it at 19-all. The Aggies then led 20-19 and eventually won the set by two points. The difference in the second set was at the service line as USU recorded three more service aces (5-2) and had two fewer service errors (3-1). USU hit .278 (14-4-36) in the second set as Sorensen had seven kills and hit .600 (7-1-10), while BYU hit an amazing .433 (16-3-3). Brigham Young had another fast start in the third set as it scored the first five points and never trailed in posting the six-point win. BYU hit .182 (13-7-33) here as compared to a .100 (10-7-30) hitting percentage for USU. The fourth set started much like the previous two as Brigham Young jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead before Utah State went on a 10-2 run to take an 11-7 advantage. BYU then went on a 7-1 run to take a 14-12 lead and later scored nine of the final 12 points to tie the match at two sets apiece. The Cougars hit .324 (16-5-34) in the fourth set and limited the Aggies to a .031 (8-7-32) hitting percentage. In the fifth and final set, Utah State finished the match on a 12-4 run as Brigham Young scored the first two points and built its lead to five at 12-7 before the Aggies fought back. USU made fewer mistakes than the Cougars in the fifth set as it hit .174 (8-4-23) with four hitting errors, while BYU hit just .036 (9-8-28) and had eight hitting errors. Utah State finished the match with a .157 hitting percentage and Brigham Young hit .234. BYU also had five more digs in the match (58-53), while USU had four more service aces (10-6), five fewer service errors (10-5) and 0.5 more team blocks (17.0-16.5). For USU, the match marked the first time this year that it hit for a lower percentage than its opponent. Utah State will return to action on Friday, Sept. 17 when it hosts Loyola Marymount, UC Riverside and Utah Valley in its inaugural Utah State Invitational, sponsored by Gossner Foods. USU will play the first match of the tournament on Friday against LMU at 10 a.m.
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