<strong>LOGAN, Utah -</strong> Junior outside hitter Rachel Orr’s match-high 22 kills led four players in double-digit kills to lead Team White to a five-set (21-25, 25-14, 20-25, 26-24, 15-13) come-from-behind win over Team Blue Tuesday night in Utah State volleyball’s annual Blue-White Scrimmage at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Former USU volleyball players Erin Cartwright-Davis and Amy Crosbie were guest coaches, with Cartwright-Davis guiding Team White to victory, while Crosbie led Team Blue to a valiant effort. It was Team White’s fourth-straight win in the annual Blue-White series with Team Blue last winning in 2009.
Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.) posted a double-double with 22 kills to go with 12 digs, while senior outside hitter Tumua Etimani (Richardson, Texas) joined her in the double-double group with 15 kills and 14 digs for Team White.
Senior middle blocker Alyssa Everett (Perry, Utah) was also in the double-double club with 15 kills and a match-high 13 blocks (one solo, 12 assists) in her first action in over a year after redshirting last season with a knee injury. Everett led Team White with a .294 attack percentage (15-5-34).
Freshman middle blocker Kayla DeCoursey (Farmington, Utah) added 10 kills, while fellow freshman defensive specialist/libero Hannah Gleason (Las Flores, Calif.) posted a match-best 28 digs, in their Aggie debuts. DeCoursey was right behind Orr in attack percentage with a .292 (10-3-24).
Team Blue was led by sophomore opposite side hitter Elle Brainard (Saratoga Springs, Utah) with 21 kills, while sophomore middle blocker Kaitlyn VanHoff (Draper, Utah) and freshman outside hitter Kaylie Kamalu (Kaysville, Utah) tallied 10 kills apiece. Kamalu logged a double-double with 12 digs while VanHoff added eight blocks, all block assists. VanHoff also led Team Blue with a .348 attack percentage (10-2-33).
Junior setter Paige Neves (Otto, Wyo.) just missed a triple-double by dishing out 45 assists to go with nine digs and a Team Blue-best blocks, all assists. Neves also served up a match-high three aces. Junior libero Ashlan Rogers-Court (Highland, Utah) posted 25 digs, while freshman outside hitter Maddie Day (North Logan, Utah) tallied a dozen digs.
After the scrimmage, the team took photos with their guest coaches and signed autographs for the fans in attendance.
Utah State was picked to finish fourth in the Mountain West Conference Preseason Volleyball Poll, as voted on by the league’s 11 coaches and announced earlier Tuesday by the conference office. The Aggies received 68 points and were predicted to finish fourth in their first season in the Mountain West after eight seasons in the Western Athletic Conference.
San Diego State, who was the 2012 MW co-champions with Colorado State, collected nine first-place votes and 99 total points. The Rams were selected to finish second with 90 points and received the two remaining first-place votes. Five points separated the third through sixth spots, with UNLV edging out newcomer Utah State for third with 70 points to the Aggies’ 68. New Mexico and Fresno State were separated by one point as the Lobos earned 66 points for the No. 5 spot, while the Bulldogs were sixth with 65. Boise State landed in seventh with 51 points, followed by Wyoming in eighth with 37, newcomer San José State in ninth with 27, Air Force in 10th with 17, while Nevada rounded out the poll with 15.
USU head coach Grayson DuBose is starting his eighth season at the helm of the Aggie program, leading USU into its first season in the MW after eight seasons in the WAC. DuBose and the Aggies return five starters and eight letterwinners from last season’s squad that posted a milestone season with a 21-9 overall record and a 15-3 league record. Utah State won its first-ever WAC regular-season title to go with its 2010 WAC Tournament championship in its eighth and final season in the league.
Utah State’s first action of the 2013 season is on Aug. 30-31 at the University of Utah Tournament. The Aggies then play at the University of Portland Nike Invitational on Sept. 6-7, before playing at in-state foe Weber State on Sept. 10. USU then plays at the Duke University Tournament on Sept. 13-14.
The Aggies will officially kick off their home schedule by hosting Boise State on Sept. 18 at 7 p.m., in USU’s MW debut.
The 2013 USU volleyball team will be holding a free skills clinic on Saturday, Aug. 24. Check in begins at 9:30 a.m. at the west entrance of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum and the clinic will run from 10 a.m. to Noon.
The clinic, which is for children under the age of 14 and adults who are at least 18, will focus on basic volleyball technique as well as providing up-to-date information on rule changes in the collegiate game. All participants will receive a free USU Volleyball T-shirt and the team will be available for autographs following the clinic.
Utah State volleyball tickets are available by contacting the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.
Fans can also follow the Aggie volleyball program at <a href=”http://twitter.com/USUVolleyball”>twitter.com/USUVolleyball</a>, on facebook at <a href=”http://facebook.com/USUVolleyball”>facebook.com/USUVolleyball</a> or on instagram at <a href=”http://instagram.com/usuvolleyball”>instagram.com/usuvolleyball</a>. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at <a href=”http://twitter.com/USUAthletics”>twitter.com/USUAthletics</a> or on facebook at <a href=”http://facebook.com/USUAthletics”>facebook.com/USUAthletics</a>.