Aggie volleyball runs past Rebels in five-set thriller – Cache Valley Daily

Utah State Volleyball vs UNLV 10/14/2021

LOGAN, Utah – Pushing the defending conference champions to five sets, Utah State volleyball (13-6, 5-2 MW) league-leading UNLV in a battle in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum Thursday.

The first two sets both went to extra points, with the Aggies winning the first, 26-24, and the Rebels the second, 27-25. Utah State then claimed a dominant third set win, 25-16, before allowing the same of UNLV who won the fourth, 25-17. USU trailed early in the fifth, but pulled off the match-clinching victory, 15-12.

The Aggie outside hitters both had solid nights, as sophomore Tatum Stall led the team with 18 kills, followed closely by senior Kristy Frank with 17. The middles also both hit well, as junior Kennedi Boyd led the team hitting .474 (11-2-19), while senior Corinne Larsen had a .412 (9-2-17) attack.

Junior setter Kalena Vaivai matched her season high with 34 assists Thursday night, while sophomore libero Abby Peterson dominated behind the service line with five aces. Peterson also led the team with 18 digs. Larsen and freshman middle blocker Katie Langford each recorded four blocks on the night. Freshman outside hitter Adna Mehmedovic made her collegiate debut in the win, recording three kills.

The Aggies had a 22-18 lead late in the first set, but the Rebels battled back with six-straight points. USU responded well, however, following that with a 4-0 run to end the set. The second set was tight throughout, as the two teams tied the score a 24 and 25 before UNLV scored three in a row to win it.

Utah State led from start to finish in the third set, with its biggest lead coming at the 21-9 mark. UNLV tried to get back in it with a 5-0 run, but back-to-back kills from Stall held the Rebels off. Roles reversed a bit in the fourth, as UNLV scored the first point and held the momentum. The Aggies kept it close early, but a run in the middle pushed the Rebels to the win. UNLV took the early lead in the fifth set, but the Aggies surged ahead in a run highlighted by a pair of blocks from Larsen and Langford. Boyd recorded the final kill of the night, giving USU its first win over UNLV since 2017.

The Aggies recorded a season-high 70 kills in the win, hitting .265 (70-29-155) on the night. UNLV had the slight offensive edge, hitting .289 (54-17-128).

Utah State remains at home to close the weekend, as it hosts San Diego State on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 1 p.m.

Fans can follow the Aggie volleyball program on Twitter, @USUVolleyball, on Facebook at /USUVolleyball or on Instagram, @usuvolleyball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter, @USUAthletics, Facebook at /USUAthletics and on Instagram, @USUAthletics.

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