Utah State continues to roll in four-set matches with 3-1 win over Lobos (with photo gallery)

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Source: CVDaily Feed
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LOGAN, Utah – Utah State women’s volleyball remained unblemished in four-set matches this season, picking up a 3-1 victory over New Mexico on Thursday night. The Aggies are now 5-0 in four-set decisions on the year, and moved to 8-10 overall and 3-4 in the Mountain West. The Lobos dropped to 10-11 and 1-7 in conference with the defeat.

The win was Utah State’s first over New Mexico since joining the Mountain West for the 2013 season and was highlighted by career-high performances by sophomore middle Lauren O’Brien and senior outside Kaylie Kamalu-Smith. Kamalu-Smith recorded her third double-double of the season with a team-best 18 kills and a career-high 15 digs. O’Brien was the most efficient hitter for the Aggies, recording a career-best .550 hitting percentage with a career-high 12 kills on 20 attempts with only one error. Fellow middle Carly Lenzen also hit above .500, recording 10 kills on 15 attempts with only two errors for a .533 hitting percentage.

Overall, Utah State hit .262 (60-22-145) during the match to New Mexico’s .184 (50-22-152) and recorded 67 digs to the Lobos’ 50. Senior libero Hannah Gleason led the USU back row with 20 digs, her fourth match with 20 or more digs this season. Senior setter Erica Moscoso led the Aggies with 53 assists during the night.

The Aggies opened with a 9-6 lead in the first set, but fell behind 11-9 following five unanswered points by New Mexico. Utah State came back to tie the set at 12-12, but still had to fight from behind, trailing 21-19 late in the frame. Junior outside Lauren Anderson recorded a kill on the next rally and began a four-point run for the home side, putting Utah State up 23-21. O’Brien tallied a kill to give the Aggies their first set point, 24-22, and a final service error by the Lobos gave Utah State the set, 25-23.

The opposite scenario played out in the second set when Utah State had a late lead of 20-17, only to have the Lobos come back and tie the set at 21-21, 22-22 and 23-23, before ultimately taking a set point at 24-23. O’Brien fought off a pair of set points with kills at 24-23 and 25-24, but back-to-back errors by Utah State evened the match at 1-1 with the 27-25 result going in the Lobos’ favor.

Utah State came out of the break with a vengeance and hit better than .350 in each of the final sets, including a .367 (14-3-30) clip in the third and .382 (16-3-34) in the fourth. The Aggies broke a 7-7 tie in the third with a 4-1 run to take an 11-8 lead and carried the advantage throughout the set. Junior outside Rachel Gale wrapped up the game for the Aggies, 25-18, with her third kill of the set.

Utah State broke a 9-9 deadlock in the fourth set with an 8-2 run, including five unanswered points, to take a 17-11 lead. The margin only came to within three down the stretch as Lenzen punctuated the match for the Aggies, 25-19, with her 10th kill of the night.

Utah State will be back in action on Saturday, hosting UNLV at 7 p.m. The match will include cake for the first 100 fans, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of USU volleyball. Additionally, Utah State volleyball alumni will be in attendance and will be recognized between the second and third set. Fans can follow the match with live stat and video links 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.




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