The Utah State volleyball team made quick work of in-state foe Utah Valley University on Tuesday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Led by a team-high 12 kills from sophomore opposite side hitter Elle Brainard, the Aggies swept the Wolverines in straight sets (25-12, 25-18, 25-15).
“We kind of rolled a little bit, it was nice,” USU head coach Grayson DuBose said. “I felt like needed a match like that. Our confidence level needed to be increased I thought. It was fun. They played well, they came out real dialed-in.”
The Aggies attack proved very effective early, jumping out to an 8-3 lead. The Wolverines finally got block set up and pulled within two, but miscommunications on the backline led to USU blowing the set open with a 13-4. After a well-placed kill from junior Rachel Orr gave USU set point, Orr finished it off with her fifth kill of the set.
USU picked up where it left off in the second set, getting back-to-back kills from Alyssa Everett, who then teamed up with Tamua Etimani for a 3-0 lead. The Aggies could do no wrong, and an Ashlan Rogers-Court service ace gave USU an 18-7 lead in the set.
The Wolverines fought back and closed to within four, but the Aggies closed it out with a Jamaica Alisa kill to take the set 25-18. Orr and Brainard each recorded five kills in the set.
“We’ve been practicing really well, and our games last week we good,” Orr said. “I think we just carried that over.”
Up two sets to none, the Aggies made sure the Wolverines wouldn’t draw out the match. A trio of blocks early in set three lifted USU to a 7-2 lead, and the Aggies forced a UVU timeout with a 4-1 run for a 14-7 lead midway through the third set.
From there Utah State went to work on defense, utilizing 2.5 team blocks down the stretch to close it out.
“Towards the end of that third game they challenged our block a little more than they had at the beginning,” DuBose said. “We’re a good blocking team, we’re traditionally a good blocking team and tonight was no different.”
Utah State improved to 11-7 overall with the win, and remained at 4-3 in MWC play. The Aggies travel to Nevada for their next match, facing the WolfPack on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 3 p.m.