Utah State volleyball garners Mountain West Coach of the Year, three all-conference nods – Cache Valley Daily

Utah State Volleyball vs Fresno St.10/23/21. Photo by Rick Parker

LOGAN, Utah — Utah State volleyball was well-represented in the Mountain West All-Conference awards announced Wednesday by the league office.

Head coach Rob Neilson was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year, while senior Corinne Larsen, senior Kristy Frank and sophomore Tatum Stall were each named to the MW All-Conference Team.

In his second year at the helm of the Aggies, Neilson led Utah State to a 22-8 record and the program’s first regular season conference title since joining the MW. The 22 wins are the most in a season since the team went 24-9 in 2010, while USU’s 14 home victories this year are the most since 2012. With a hitting percentage of .238, Utah State is also on pace to tie the program record previously set in 2016.

Picked to finish ninth in the conference in the preseason poll, Nielson and the Aggies snapped numerous losing streaks to MW opponents this season, defeating Boise State and Wyoming for the first time since 2017, and besting Colorado State for the first time since 1982.

Utah State Volleyball vs Fresno St.10/23/21. Photo by Rick Parker

Larsen, Frank and Stall each earning all-conference honors marks the most Aggies named to an all-league team in the same year since placing six players on the 2012 WAC All-Conference First and Second Teams. It is also the first time multiple Aggies have been named to the MW All-Conference Team.

The all-conference nod is the second of Larsen’s career after garnering honorable mention honors following last season. The senior from Sandy, Utah, ranks second in the MW with 133.0 total blocks on the season, which also places her 21st in the nation. The four-year letterwinner now ranks third all-time in school history with 439 blocks in her career. Larsen has also posted 208 kills, 36 service aces and 52 digs on the year.

Larsen ranks third in the conference in solo blocks (16) and blocks per set (1.17), plus eighth in the conference in hitting percentage (.351). Larsen set program records this season with five solo blocks in a three-set match at San Francisco and with six service aces in a four-set match at Air Force.

For Frank, it is her first time being named to the MW All-Conference Team. The senior has posted 260 kills this season with a .217 hitting percentage, along with 13 service aces, 41.0 blocks and 217 digs. Frank has been a consistent cog in a Utah State offense that has compiled a league-leading 1,557 kills this season, a mark that also ranks 15th in the country.

The native of Kiev, Ukraine, posted a career-high 22 kills in the Aggies’ momentous victory over Colorado State, the second-most kills in a four-set match by any MW player this season. Frank has also posted four double-doubles this season of at least 10 or more kills and digs.

It is also Stall’s first time earning all-conference honors in her career. The sophomore led the Aggies with 346 kills and 404.0 points, and led the team in kills in 13 separate matches this season. Stall has also recorded 35 service aces, 36 assists, 43.0 blocks and 238 digs during the 2021 campaign.

The native of Chandler, Arizona, has totaled nine double-doubles this season of at least 10 or more kills and digs. In Utah State’s regular season finale against Wyoming, Stall helped the Aggies clinch the regular season title with 19 kills on a season-high 51 attempts.

Utah State continues its season at the Mountain West Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada. Entering the tournament as the second seed, the Aggies earned a first-round bye into the semifinal round, where they will face the winner between San José State (19-9, 13-5 MW) and Boise State (21-10, 10-8 MW) on Thursday, Nov. 25, at 2 p.m. (MT).

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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