LOGAN, Utah – Utah State volleyball are Mountain West champions once again as USU defeated Boise State 3-1 for the outright regular season title on Monday.
The Aggies (21-5, 14-1 MW) have won three-straight MW championships, all of which came under head coach Rob Neilson, after sharing the MW regular season title in 2021 and winning the MW tournament in 2022.USU has won eight regular season conference titles in program history, including the WAC in 2012 and five consecutive titles in the Intermountain Athletic Conference from 1977 through 1981.
Utah State’s 14 league wins are tied with the 2021 squad for the most since joining the Mountain West, while being tied for the second-most conference wins in program history behind the 2012 team’s 15 WAC wins.
USU has now won 11-straight matches, the longest streak since the Aggies opened the 2010 season 11-0.
“An amazing crowd,” Neilson said. “3:30 in the afternoon and we packed the Estes. We’re so grateful for the fans celebrating this wonderful team. Mountain West champions. I can’t believe it. What a great day. What a great performance. That Boise State team played phenomenally well and we just battled. This is such a tested group. Such a veteran group. I’m so proud of them.”
Four Aggies logged double-digit kills in the win in graduate senior outside hitter Shelby Capllonch with 15, senior outside Tatum Stall with 15, senior middle blocker Kelsey Watson with 11 and junior opposite side hitter Adna Mehmedovic with 10. Both Watson and Mehmedovic hit .500 in the match. Stall logged her fifth double-double of the season with a team-best 12 digs.
Three more Aggies logged double-digit assists as junior setter Beatriz Rodrigues had 25, sophomore setter Leah Wilton-LaBoy had 23 and freshman libero Kambree Rodriguez had a career-best 10. Rodriguez logged her first career double-double with 11 digs. Watson led USU with six blocks, followed closely by Mehmedovic with five.
“It was unbelievable,” Watson said. “To see how many people could come out for a 3:30 match on a Monday was just so exciting. That’s what fueled us. The Hurd was awesome. They’re always awesome. The crowd and the environment kept us going throughout that whole match. It was awesome.”
The teams battled in the first set, but Boise State (11-14, 7-8 MW) would ultimately win 27-25.
The Broncos held a big 15-8 lead in set two, but the Aggies responded. USU turned around with an 11-2 run, highlighted by kills from Watson, Stall and sophomore opposite Kaylie Ray, along with service aces from Rodrigues and Stall, for the 19-17 advantage. The teams traded the next few points before USU closed out the set with a 4-0 run, bookended by a Capllonch kill and block by Mehmedovic and graduate senior middle blocker Kennedi Boyd, for the 25-20 win.
The Aggies and Broncos went back and forth in set three until a 6-1 USU run, featuring kills from Stall and Mehmedovic, along with a Mehmedovic and Watson block, to take a 22-19 lead. Boise State in turn used a 5-0 spurt to take set point 24-22. A pair of Bronco attack errors then tied it at 24-apiece. Boise State earned one more set point before a 3-0 Utah State run, bookended by Capllonch kills, secured the 27-25 Aggie victory.
The score stayed close once again to start off the fourth set before a 7-1 USU run, highlighted by Mehmedovic and Watson kills, along with blocks from the duo and Stall, put Utah State ahead 19-12. The Broncos trimmed the lead to four three times, but a Boyd hammer gave USU match point and a Boise State service error clinched the 25-20 win.
Overall, USU hit .207 (53-24-140), while BSU hit .279 (65-26-140).
Utah State next hosts San José State (12-15, 3-11 MW) for Senior Night on Thursday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. USU will honor seven seniors in Boyd, Capllonch, Jordi Holdaway, Inka Mehtola, Jill Schneggenburger, Stall and Rodrigues.
Fans can follow the Aggie volleyball program on Twitter, @USUVolleyball, on Facebook at /USUVolleyball or on Instagram, @usuvolleyball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter, @USUAthletics, Facebook at /USUAthletics and on Instagram, @USUAthletics.