LOGAN, Utah – Utah State’s volleyball team, picked third in the Western Athletic Conference preseason poll by the league’s coaches, will begin the 2011 season on Monday, Aug. 8 with its first practice at 9:00 a.m. in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Sixth-year head coach Grayson DuBose welcomes back three starters and six letterwinners from last year’steam that finished 24-9 on the season and in third-place in the WAC with a 9-7 mark. USU also won its first-ever WAC Tournament in 2010 and advanced to its fourth-ever NCAA Tournament. Highlighting Utah State’s group of returners is senior outside hitter Liz McArthur (St. George, Utah) who earned honorable mention All-American honors as a junior after being named first-team all-WAC and the Most Valuable Player of the WAC Tournament. McArthur ended the season ranking 32nd in the nation in points (4.59) and 34th in kills (4.00) per set. Utah State’s two other returning starters are a pair of outside/opposite side hitters in juniors Shay Sorensen (North Odgen, Utah) and Josselyn White (Smithfield, Utah). Sorenen averaged 2.20 kills and 0.81 blocks as a sophomore, while White averaged 2.41 kills, 1.87 digs and 0.94 blocks per set. McArthur, Sorensen and White were all-named to the WAC’s 12-member 2011 preseason team. Other returnees include junior libero Laurel Bodily (Idaho Falls, Idaho), junior setter Kassi Hargrove (Reno, Nev.), andsophomore outside hitter Tunua Etimani (Richardson, Texas). USU will also have the services of two redshirts this fall in sophomore middle blocker Nicole Gneiting (Las Vegas,Nev.) and freshman opposite side hitter Jamaica Alisa (St. George, Utah). Utah State opens the 2011 campaign on Friday, Aug. 26 at the Crystal Inn Thunderbird Invitational in Cedar City, Utah against Pacific at 4:30 p.m. USU will then play a pair of matches on Saturday, Aug. 27 against Drake and host Southern Utah at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., respectively. Utah State will begin its home schedule the following weekend as it hosts Idaho State, Syracuse and Texas State in its annual Utah State Invitational from Sept. 1-3. USU will begin the tournament against ISU on Thursday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. -USU-
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