Photos by DeLayne Ripplinger. Article by Kyle Cottam / USU Athletic Media Relations
LOGAN, Utah – Utah State women’s volleyball had little problem with Fresno State in the second set, but ultimately fell in four to the Bulldogs on Thursday night, dropping to 4-13 overall on the year and 0-3 in league play. Fresno State moved to 9-7 and evened its Mountain West ledger, 1-1.
“We need to find a way to get more kills,” head coach Grayson DuBose said after the match. “I thought our right side did well, Kayla (DeCoursey) had 10 kills and did a nice job for us. But, again, we need to get more kills because 37 in a four-set match isn’t going to cut it.”
Utah State finished the night with a better hitting percentage, .183 (37-16-115) to Fresno State’s .132 (54-35-144), but were unable to turn to difference into a victory.
USU jumped on Fresno State early, capturing the first three points, but the Bulldogs countered with a five-point swing to take a 5-3 lead. The Aggies fought back to tie the match at 7-7 and 8-8, but back-to-back points by the visitors broke the final deadlock and gave Fresno State the 10-8 advantage. Utah State came within one during the next rally, but was not able to get any closer down the stretch, falling 25-19.
Utah State made the most of 15 Fresno State errors in the second set, while hitting .280 (9-2-25) to string together a 12-3 closing run and take set point 24-14. The surge started and ended with Bulldog errors, but Fresno State extended the set, ironically, on a Utah State attacking error. However, USU bounced back and squared the match at 1-1 with a 25-15 win following a kill by sophomore middle Carly Lenzen.
Neither team was able to make much headway in the third set as the sides went back-and-forth through 16 ties and seven lead changes. Fresno State made a strong push to close the frame, putting together a six-point run to break a 19-19 tie and take the set, 25-19.
The Bulldogs used a pair of three-point runs early in the fourth set to keep Utah State at bay and led by as much as five, 19-14, late in the frame. Utah State made its move, facing a 21-16 deficit, and pulled to within two, 22-20, as a DeCoursey kill and Lenzen service ace highlighted an Aggie 4-1 run. However, the run was countered by Fresno State as the Bulldogs rattled off three straight points to take the match, 25-20.
DeCoursey led the Utah State attack with a career-high 10 kills, while hitting .269 (10-3-26) on the night. Junior outside Kaylie Kamalu and sophomore outside Rachel Gale followed with nine and eight kills, respectively. Lenzen had the most well-rounded match for the Aggies, recording six blocks, five digs, four kills and a career-high three service aces. Junior libero Hannah Gleason paced the Aggies defense with 17 digs.
Fresno State was led by senior outside Zana Bowens with a double-double effort of 12 kills and 15 digs. Her kill total was matched by teammate Carly Scarbrough, a sophomore outside, while junior libero Maddie Eppright led the Bulldogs with 20 digs.
Utah State will continue its weekend homestand on Saturday, hosting UNLV at 11 a.m. Fans can purchase admission for the match for just $1 with a football ticket stub for the Colorado State game later that day.
Fans can purchase tickets for the 2015 season by contacting the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.
Fans can follow the Aggie volleyball program on Twitter @USUVolleyball, on Facebook at USUVolleyball or on Instagram at @usuvolleyball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at @USUAthletics, on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics or on Instagram at @USUAthletics.