Utah State volleyball (17-8, 9-5 MW) is back inside the Wayne Estes Center for the final time in 2022 as the Aggies host San José State (18-6, 12-2 MW) on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m., in its 50th Anniversary of Title IX match. All fans are encouraged to wear black to blackout Club Estes. USU then hosts Nevada (12-13, 6-8 MW) in its home finale on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 1 p.m. Prior to the match, Utah State will honor its seniors in Grace DuBay, Myrthe Maring, Kylee Stokes and Emilee Turner as part of Senior Day.
This week’s matches will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network. Live stats will also be provided via Sidearm. Links to all options will be posted on the team’s social media pages and listed on the Utah State Athletics website.
THANK YOU, SENIORS
Utah State will honor four seniors prior to its home finale against Nevada in defensive specialist Grace DuBay, middle blocker Myrthe Maring, and opposite side hitters Kylee Stokes and Emilee Turner on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 1 p.m.
AGGIES VS. SPARTANS
Utah State and San José State will meet for the 50th time in program history as the series is tied 24-24-1. The Spartans won this season’s previous matchup 3-1 in San Jose, California, on Oct. 1.
AGGIES VS. WOLF PACK
Utah State and Nevada will meet for the 53rd time in program history as the Aggies lead the all-time series 27-25. USU previously swept Nevada 3-0 in Reno on Sept. 29.
MOUNTAIN WEST LEADERS
Seven Utah State Aggies rank in the top 10 of various Mountain West categories as senior middle blocker Kennedi Boyd is fifth in blocks (1.10 bps) and eighth in hitting percentage (.336), sophomore setter Beatriz Rodrigues is fifth in service aces (.36 saps), redshirt sophomore libero Jordi Holdaway is sixth in digs (365 dps), junior outside hitter Tatum Stall is sixth in service aces (0.36), senior outside hitter Shelby Capllonch is ninth in service aces (0.33 saps), freshman setter Leah Wilton-LaBoy is 10th in assists (5.38 aps) and redshirt freshman middle blocker Bella Wooden is tied for 10th in blocks (1.00 bps).
WELCOME TO CLUB ESTES
- Utah State has won 17 of its last 20 matches at home and is 21-4 in the last 25 matches played in Logan.
- The Aggies have drawn 1,000-plus fans in five matches this season with 1,180 fans in the 3-1 victory over No. 12-UCLA (Aug. 26), a sold-out crowd of 1,398 in the 3-2 win over Utah Valley (Sept. 13), 1,084 fans in the sweep against San Diego State (Oct. 6) and 1,157 fans in the 3-2 victory against Boise State (Oct. 11). The Aggies hosted Colorado State for Spectrum Magic Night inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Oct. 22, in front of 1,716 fans.
- The CSU match was the highest attended home USU volleyball match since the Aggies sold out the Estes against Utah on Sept. 1, 2015.
Utah State is 10-4 this season in matches that go past three sets, posting 3-1 victories over No. 12 UCLA (Aug. 26), Cal Poly (Aug. 26), Portland State (Sept. 9), Fresno State (Oct. 8), Wyoming (Oct. 20), Boise State (Oct. 25) and San Diego State (Nov. 5), and 3-2 wins against Utah Valley (Sept. 13), Weber State (Sept. 17) and Air Force (Sept. 22).
- The Aggies were phenomenal behind the service line in the 3-1 victory at SDSU (Nov. 5) as USU tied the program record with 14 service aces in a four-set match. It marked the third time in program history Utah State had 14 service aces in a four-set match and is the first time accomplishing the feat since doing so at Wyoming on Sept. 14, 2000. Junior outside hitter Tatum Stall led the way for Utah State with a career-best five aces.
- Utah State leads the Mountain West and ranks 18th nationally in service aces, averaging 1.85 per set.
- Ten different Aggies have served an ace this season, led by sophomore setter Beatriz Rodrigues with 35, Stall with 33 and senior outside hitter Shelby Capllonch with 31.
- Four Utah State student-athletes have served four-or-more aces in a match this season. Senior middle blocker Kennedi Boyd served a career-best five aces against Portland State (Sept. 9), freshman setter Leah Wilton-LaBoy had four against Cincinnati (Sept. 3), Stall had a then-career-high-tying four against Portland (Sept. 10) before logging a career-best five at San Diego State (Nov. 5), Capllonch had four against Fresno State (Oct. 8) and Rodrigues had a career-best six at Fresno State (Nov. 3).
HIGHWAY TO THE DANGER ZONE
Five Aggies have recorded over 100 kills this season in junior outside hitter Tatum Stall (275), senior outside Shelby Capllonch (219), senior opposite side hitter Kylee Stokes (202), senior middle blocker Kennedi Boyd (172) and graduate opposite side hitter Emilee Turner (104).
SHE’S A KILLER QUEEN
Senior middle blocker Kennedi Boyd is hitting .336 (172-52-357) on the season to rank fourth in program history.
SHE’S A KILLER QUEEN – PART II
Middle blocker Kennedi Boyd tied the program record for single-match hitting percentage with 15-19 attempts after hitting .813 (13-0-6) at Air Force on Oct. 9, 2021.
ON THE ATTACK
Utah State set a program record for hitting percentage in a four-set match as USU hit .471 (53-14-105) in its 3-1 victory at San Diego State on Nov. 5.
COLLECTING THE AWARDS
- Five Utah State student-athletes have earned Mountain West weekly honors in senior opposite side hitter Kylee Stokes (Offensive Player of the Week, Aug. 29), setter Leah Wilton-LaBoy (Freshman of the Week, Aug. 29 and Oct. 31), junior outside hitter Tatum Stall (Offensive Player of the Week, Oct. 10), middle blocker Bella Wooden (Freshman of the Week, Oct. 10; Nov. 7) and redshirt sophomore libero Jordi Holdaway (Defensive Player of the Week, Oct. 11).
- Two Aggies have been named the America First Credit Union USU Student-Athlete of the Week in Stokes (Aug. 29) and senior outside hitter Shelby Capllonch (Sept. 12).
- The Aggies had a trio named to the all-tournament team at the Oregon State-hosted Asics Invitational in Capllonch (MVP), senior middle blocker Kennedi Boyd and Stall.
PUTTING IN THE WORK
- Utah State will face six 2021 NCAA Tournament teams, including four that finished the campaign ranked in the top 25, in its 2022 campaign. Non-conference foes Pitt, BYU, UCLA and Utah finished the 2021 campaign ranking fourth, ninth, 13th and 18th, respectively.
- Three of Utah State’s first four opponents in the 2022 campaign were top-15 teams, defeating then-No. 12 UCLA 3-1, before losing 3-0 to both then-No. 7 BYU and then-No. 10 Pittsburgh.
AGGIES IN THE POLL
Utah State received votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches Poll in back-to-back weeks (Aug. 29; Sept. 5). Utah State, the only program in the Mountain West at the time to receive votes, opened its 2022 season 2-0 as USU defeated then-No. 12 UCLA 3-1 and Cal Poly 3-1 at the Utah State Invitational. The victory over the Bruins marked the Aggies’ first win over a ranked opponent since Utah State’s 3-0 victory over No. 3 Hawai’i to win the WAC Tournament Championship on Nov. 24, 2010. USU then went 1-2 last week at the BYU-hosted Nike Invitational as the Aggies lost to both No. 7 BYU and No. 10 Pittsburgh 3-0 before sweeping Cincinnati 3-0.
Utah State upset then-No. 12 UCLA 3-1 (27-25, 29-27, 22-25, 25-19) at its season-opening Utah State Invitational on Aug. 26. The victory over the Bruins marked the Aggies’ first win over a ranked opponent since Utah State’s 3-0 victory over No. 3 Hawai’i to win the WAC Tournament Championship on Nov. 24, 2010.
Overall, Utah State hit .184 (57-30-147) for the match, while holding UCLA to a .076 (46-35-145) mark. Three Aggies finished with double-digit kills as senior opposite side hitter Kylee Stokes had a match-high 14, junior outside hitter Tatum Stall had 11 and senior middle blocker Kennedi Boyd had 10. Boyd led USU with a career-high-tying eight blocks, including a career-best three solo.
Two Aggies recorded double-doubles as Stall finished with 11 digs, while freshman setter Leah Wilton-LaBoy posted 25 assists and 10 digs. Redshirt sophomore libero Jordi Holdaway led Utah State with a match-high 13 digs.
DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK
Utah State trailed Cincinnati 19-8 in set one against the Bearcats. However, Utah State responded with a huge 17-3 run to close out the set and earn the 25-22 victory. Graduate opposite side hitter Emilee Turner got the run started with three kills and senior outside hitter Shelby Capllonch added one of her own to trim the Bearcats’ advantage to single digits 21-12. Cincinnati scored once more to lead 22-12, but Utah State countered with a 13-0 run to end the set. Freshman setter Leah Wilton-LaBoy stayed calm and collected behind the service line for the final 12 points, earning three service aces in the run. Capllonch recorded three kills in the final stretch, while senior opposite side hitter Kylee Stokes added one more. During the run, Capllonch and senior middle blocker Kennedi Boyd recorded back-to-back blocks, and four Bearcat errors helped lift the Aggies to their 25-22 set one victory. The Aggies won the match 3-0.
DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK – PART II
Utah State trailed Air Force 2-0 in its Mountain West season opener, but fought back to win the next three sets 26-24, 25-14, 20-18 for the 3-2 victory.
Utah State was picked second in the preseason Mountain West poll, receiving three first-place votes. Junior outside hitter Tatum Stall was also named to the 2022 preseason all-Mountain West team.
With wins over Colorado State and Wyoming to close the 2021 regular season, the Aggies clinched a share of the Mountain West regular season title for the first time in program history. USU has won seven 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.
A SEASON FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS
USU finished its 2021 campaign with a 22-9 record, the most wins since 2010. Utah State posted 14 MW wins, the most since 2012, and 12 home victories, the most since 1979.
MOUNTAIN WEST COACH OF THE YEAR
Head coach Rob Neilson was named the 2021 Mountain West Coach of the Year after leading the Aggies to a share of the MW regular season title and the team’s most wins in over a decade.
CAN YOU DIG IT?
Defensive specialist Grace DuBay set the program three-set match record after recording 26 digs at Weber State on Sept. 21, 2019.
Utah State has three international players on its 2022 roster in graduate middle blocker Myrthe Maring (Groningen, Netherlands), junior middle blocker Inka Mehtola (Raahe, Finland) and sophomore setter Beatriz Rodrigues (Lisbon, Portugal).
WEDDING BELLS WILL BE RINGING
Three Aggie volleyball student-athletes got engaged this offseason. Junior outside hitter Tatum Stall became engaged to current USU quarterback Levi Williams, junior defensive specialist Abby Peterson is engaged to Cooper Ward and sophomore outside hitter Katie Langford is engaged to Preston Swensen.
CALLED TO SERVE
Freshman outside hitter Audrah Radford will serve a one and half year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Paris, France, beginning in April 2023.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Freshman setter Leah Wilton-LaBoy is the granddaughter of USU volunteer assistant coach Mike Wilton. Her mother, Melissa, played volleyball for the Aggies in 2001, while her uncle, Travis, was a member of the USU football team. However, Wilton-LaBoy isn’t the only Aggie with familial connections to USU. Junior outside hitter Tatum Stall’s brother, Klay, played on the men’s basketball team from 2017-20, redshirt freshman outside hitter Kaylie Ray’s father, Brennan, was on the men’s basketball roster from 1999-2002, graduate opposite side hitter Emilee Turner’s father, Grey, played men’s basketball for the Aggies in 1986-87 and freshman outside hitter Audrah Radford’s mother, Gina, played volleyball from 1994-96.
Utah State returns eight letterwinners, including three starters and libero Abby Peterson. Junior outside hitter Tatum Stall, who earned all-MW honors in 2021, led the team in total kills (360) and kills per set (2.90), while finishing second on the squad in digs (250) and service aces (36). Senior opposite side hitter Kylee Stokes, who was named to the Mountain West All-Tournament Team, finished second on the 2021 team with 268 kills and 92 blocks.
Peterson returns for her third season with the Aggies after leading the squad with 392 digs as a sophomore, finishing 2021 ranked sixth in the conference with 3.32 digs per set. Senior middle blocker Kennedi Boyd appeared and started in 20 matches in 2021 before missing the remainder of the season due to injury, finishing with 168 kills and 76.0 total blocks. Sophomore setter Beatriz Rodrigues led USU and ranked 10th in the MW with 5.41 assists per set in 2021, totaling 509 assists on the year.
USU returns seven more players from the 2021 squad, including senior defensive specialist Grace DuBay, junior middle blocker Inka Mehtola, three sophomores in outside hitter Adna Mehmedovic, opposite side hitter Katie Langford and setter Kalia Thunstrom, and outside hitter Kaylie Ray and middle blocker Bella Wooden, both redshirt freshmen.
WELCOME TO THE SQUAD
Utah State welcomes seven newcomers to the 2022 squad, including graduate middle blocker Myrthe Maring, an FIU transfer, graduate opposite side hitter Emilee Turner, a Seton Hall transfer, senior outside hitter Shelby Capllonch, a UNLV transfer, redshirt sophomore defensive specialist Jordi Holdaway, a Boise State transfer, and outside hitter Audrah Radford, outside hitter Kylie Tengberg and setter Leah Wilton-LaBoy, all freshmen. Utah State also added assistant coach Mike Brunsting to the staff in May of 2022.
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