LOGAN, Utah – Utah State women’s volleyball lost 3-2 to UNLV on Saturday night, taking the second-place team in the Mountain West to the wire. The loss puts the Aggies at 8-11 on the year and 3-5 in the Mountain West, while UNLV moved to 18-2 and 7-1 with the victory.
Despite the loss, Utah State had many highlights, including a career-high 22 kills from junior outside Lauren Anderson, a career-high four service aces from senior defensive specialist Maddie Day-Larsen, a career-high 67 assists from junior setter Erica Moscoso and a career-best .625 hitting percentage (10-0-16) from junior middle Carly Lenzen. Moscoso coupled her assists with 11 digs for her third double-double of the season and senior outside Kaylie Kamalu-Smith recorded 15 kills and 11 digs for her second consecutive double-double and fourth of the season.
Overall, Utah State hit .289 (69-23-159) during the match to UNLV’s .317 (70-19-161), but recorded more digs than the Rebels, finishing with 70 to UNLV’s 55. Senior libero Hannah Gleason led the way for the Aggie back row with 20 digs, marking her second straight 20-dig outing and fifth of the season.
Utah State came from behind in the first set, overcoming a 13-8 UNLV lead early in the frame and tying the match at 17-17. An Anderson kill on the next rally kickstarted a three-point run by Utah State, ending with a Moscoso ace and prompting a UNLV timeout at 20-17. The Rebels were only able to get within one point of the Aggies down the stretch until a final kill by Anderson punctuated the set for the Aggies, 25-23.
UNLV came out in the second set with three straight points, but Utah State was able to get back to within one when the Rebels had a lead at 9-8. The visitors then went on a 5-0 run to open up a 15-10 advantage and then closed out the set with a three-point run to even the match 1-1 with the 25-19 result.
The third set included 14 ties and seven lead changes in a frame that was back-and-forth until the very end. Utah State fought off a UNLV set point at 24-23 behind an Anderson kill and two more kills from Anderson over the next two rallies gave USU the set, 26-24, as the Aggies closed out the frame with a 3-0 run.
UNLV used a 6-2 run in the middle of the fourth to open up a four-point advantage at 15-11 and then grew the margin to seven at 23-16. The Rebels had their first set point at 24-17, but Utah State countered and fought off three straight set points and pulled to within four, 24-20, and caused a UNLV timeout. However, the Rebels came out of the break with a kill and forced a decisive fifth set with a 25-20 victory.
Utah State had its chances in the fifth set as the teams played through seven ties and two lead changes. The teams were deadlocked at 9-9 when UNLV went on a three-point run to take a 12-9 lead. The push was stopped by a kill by Kamalu-Smith and another kill by Anderson pulled the Aggies to within one, 13-12. Utah State used another kill by Anderson to fight off a match point by UNLV at 14-12, coming to within one at 14-13, but a final tip by the Rebels wrapped up the match, 15-13.
Utah State will be back in action on Thursday night, hosting its third of four matches in a row at home, facing San Diego State. The Aztecs and Aggies will take the floor at 7 p.m. (MT), with live stat and video links available online at utahstateaggies.com.
Fans can also follow the Aggie volleyball program on Twitter @USUVolleyball, on Facebook at USUVolleyball or on Instagram at @usuvolleyball. Aggie fans can follow the Utah State athletic program at @USUAthletics, on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics or on Instagram at @USUAthletics.