Sixth-seeded Utah State volleyball to take on Minnesota in the NCAA Tournament Friday – Cache Valley Daily

Utah State volleyball. Photo by Clint Allen

LOGAN, Utah – Sixth-seeded Utah State volleyball (24-6, 17-1 Mountain West) will make its sixth-ever NCAA Tournament appearance when USU takes on Minnesota (16-12, 12-8 Big Ten) on Friday, Dec. 1, at 3 p.m. (MT), in Omaha, Nebraska.

Overall, the Aggies have appeared in five NCAA Tournaments (2022, 2010, 2005, 2001, 2002), holding a 2-5 record. Utah State leads the all-time series against Minnesota 4-2, last meeting in 2007.

Utah State earned the at-large bid after winning the MW regular season title. The Aggies had three all-Mountain West honorees in graduate senior outside hitter Shelby Capllonch, senior outside Tatum Stall and junior opposite side hitter Adna Mehmedovic, while freshman libero Kambree Rodriguez was named an honorable mention. Head coach Rob Neilson was selected as the league’s Coach of the Year for the second time, having also earned the distinction in 2021.

The Aggies head into the NCAA Tournament with a 24-6 overall record, including 17-1 in Mountain West play, as USU has won 17 of its last 19 matches. The Aggie squad has ranked in the top-20 in the RPI multiple times this season, most recently at No. 16 on Nov. 20. USU has also received votes in the AVCA coaches’ poll six times this season, including each of the last four weeks.

USU is hitting .235 (1,501-618-3,752), while holding opponents to a .191 (1,271-599-3,517) mark. Capllonch leads the Aggies with 336 kills this season, averaging 3.14 per set, while senior middle blocker Kelsey Watson hits a team-best .330. Both Aggie setters have logged over 500 assists as sophomore Leah Wilton-LaBoy has 616, while junior Beatriz Rodrigues has 538. Rodriguez leads the team with 40 service aces.

Defensively, Rodriguez leads Utah State with 331 digs, averaging 3.25 per set. Watson and graduate senior middle blocker Kennedi Boyd have each logged a team-best 101 total blocks, while Mehmedovic is close behind with 99 this season.

Minnesota holds a 16-12 overall mark, including 12-8 in the Big Ten. Overall, the Gophers are hitting .227 (1,330-494-3,675), while holding opponents to a .186 (1,318-617-3,769) mark. Redshirt junior outside Taylor Landfair leads the team with 342 kills, averaging 3.20 per set, while senior setter Melani Shaffmaster leads with 894 assists. Defensively, fifth-year senior libero Kylie Murr leads the way with 439 digs, while senior middle bocker Phoebe Awoleye leads with 129 blocks.

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.

Source link

Share This Article



Related Articles