Utah State Volleyball Plays at California in First Round of NCAA Tournament Friday

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State (24-8, 9-7) will face seventh-seeded and fourth-ranked California (25-3, 15-3) on Friday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. (MT) in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament in Berkeley, Calif. The match will be played at Haas Pavilion on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley.The match will feature live statistics via GameTracker and a free live video feed and both links can be found at CalBears.com.Utah State is 24-8 on the season after defeating sixth-seeded Nevada (3-1), second-seeded New Mexico State (3-2) and top-seeded and third-ranked Hawai’i (3-0) to win the Western Athletic Conference Tournament last weekend. USU finished in third-place in the WAC during the regular season with a 9-7 record. The Aggies are led by junior outside hitter Liz McArthur who is hitting .212 and averaging 4.03 kills, 1.89 digs, 0.49 blocks and 0.34 service aces per set. Senior middle blocker Katie Astle is hitting .315 and averaging 1.48 kills and 1.11 blocks per set, while senior setter Chelsea Fowles is hitting .343 and averaging 9.93 assists, 2.19 digs, 0.85 kills, 0.72 blocks and 0.29 service aces per set. As a team, Utah State is hitting .227 on the year as compared to a .171 hitting percentage for its opponents.Utah State will be appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth-time in school history as it advanced to the second round in 2000 and 2001 and lost in the first round in 2005. USU’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament was during the 2000 season when it defeated Missouri (3-2) in the first round before losing at BYU (3-0) in the second round. The Aggies went back to the NCAA Tournament in 2001 and upset 19th-ranked BYU (3-2) in the first round before losing at Utah (3-1) in the second round. In 2005, USU lost to sixth-ranked Arizona (3-0) in the first round. All-time, USU is 2-3 in the NCAA Tournament.After starting the season with 11 straight victories, Utah State finished the regular season by winning nine of its final 10 matches including six straight. Utah State’s 24 wins this year are the seventh-most in school history and the most since the 1982 team finished its season with a 28-19 record. It is also the fourth 20-win season for USU in the last 11 years and 10th in school history.Utah State is 60-82 (.423) in road matches during the last 10 years, which includes a 23-28 (.451) record against non-conference opponents. This year, USU is 9-3 on the road and those nine road wins are the third-most in school history behind the 1977 team that went 16-5 on the road and the 1980 team that went 10-5 on the road.California is 25-3 on the season and finished in a tie for first-place in the Pacific-10 conference with a 15-3 record following a home loss to Arizona State (3-2) and a home win against Arizona (3-1) last weekend. The Golden Bears are 13-2 at home this season and are led by junior outside hitter Tarah Murrey who is hitting .316 this year and averaging 5.18 kills, 2.30 digs and 0.63 blocks per set. As a team, Cal is hitting .308 during the season as compared to a .174 hitting percentage for its opponents.Utah State is 4-2 all-time against California which includes a three-set loss to the Golden Bears the last time the two teams played one another during the 2007 season in Berkeley. USU is 1-0 all-time against Cal in postseason play as it notched a five sets win in the 1981 AIAW National Championships. USU finished in third-place nationally that year.Utah State is 1-2 this year and 11-53 (.172) during the last 11 years versus ranked opponents. All three of USU’s matches this year versus ranked teams have been against Hawai’i.Utah State is 27-44 (.380) all-time against current members of the Pac-10 Conference as it is 6-10 against Arizona, 4-5 against Arizona State, 4-2 against California, 4-6 against Oregon, 1-0 against Oregon State, 0-3 against Stanford, 4-6 against UCLA, 1-7 against USC, 1-1 against Washington and 2-4 against Washington State.-USU-

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