Utah State volleyball had its three-match win streak snapped with a 3-0 (14-25, 15-25, 22-25) loss to Idaho Saturday night in a Western Athletic Conference match at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
The Aggies slid to 8-5 overall and suffered their first WAC loss Saturday and are now 3-1 in league play. Idaho improved to 4-10 overall and 2-2 in WAC action. Saturday's win was the Vandals' first victory away from home this season and was also UI's fourth-straight win over USU as Idaho now leads the all-time series, 21-17.
USU hit .096 (32-23-94) for the match, the Aggies' second-lowest of the season, while Idaho hit .352 (40-8-91), a Utah State opponent season-high.
Senior opposite side hitter Shay Sorensen (North Ogden, Utah) led USU with eight kills, while senior outside hitter Josselyn White (Smithfield, Utah) added seven kills and redshirt-freshman Elle Brainard added six kills. Brainard also had three block assists as USU had only four total team blocks, its lowest of the year and first time with eight or less since the season-opener.
Sophomore libero Ashlan Rogers (Highland, Utah) logged a match-high 13 digs, while fellow sophomore Paige Neves (Otto, Wyo.) distributed a match-best 30 assists.
Idaho was led by Ashley Christman's 13 kills, while Allison Walker notched 11 kills. Alyssa Schultz posted four total blocks as the Vandals tallied nine total team blocks. Janelle Chow posted a team-high eight digs. Jenny Feicht dished out 17 assists, and Ryann Carter logged 15.
The Vandals jumped out to a 4-0 lead on the way to leading from start to finish of the set, leading by as much as 18-7 after a USU attack error and forcing an Aggie timeout. Back-to-back kills by sophomore outside hitter Rachel Orr (Thatcher, Ariz.) and Sorensen pulled Utah State within 19-12, but that would be the closest the home team would get as Idaho closed out the set at 25-14 with a block by Christman and Alex Sele.
USU took its first lead of the match at 1-0 in the second set, but Idaho rallied by opening up a 17-12 lead after Sele kill. A kill by Brainard cut the Aggie deficit to 18-14, but Idaho scored seven of the next eight points in the set to take the frame at 25-15.
The home team took an 8-6 lead in the third frame after another Brainard kill, but the Vandals then reeled off five unanswered points for an 11-8 lead capped by a kill from Katelyn Peterson. A kill from Sorensen drew USU within one at 15-14, but the Aggies couldn't get any closer. Down 24-19, they did score three-straight points to cut the gap to 24-22 after a Sorensen kill preceded a trio-block by Sorensen, White and Brainard, and forced an Idaho timeout. But Sele ended the match in the visitor's favor at 25-22 with a kill.
The Aggies hit the road for a pair of WAC matches, playing at Louisiana Tech on Thursday, Sept. 27, and at league newcomer UT Arlington on Saturday, Sept. 29. USU then opens up a season-long five-match homestand starting with New Mexico State on Thursday, Oct. 4.
Utah State volleyball tickets are available by contacting the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum orby calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.