The Utah State Aggies showed why they lead the Western Athletic Conference, clicking in almost all phases of the game to defeat Seattle University, 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-19) Saturday night in a league volleyball match at the Connolly Center.
Kaytlyn Dill (Bothell, Wash.) led the Redhawk offense with 10 kills, while Andi Lowrance (Phoenix, Ariz.) contributed eight kills and a .333 hitting percentage. Sarah Jaeckel (Littleton, Colo.) finished with seven kills and 10 digs, and Seattle U libero Lani Beadle (Seattle, Wash.) led all players with 18 defensive digs as well as two service aces.
Josselyn White earned a kill and a service ace, and Shay Sorensen contributed a kill and a block assist to help Utah State take the early lead in the first set, 6-2. After Seattle U pulled to within two at 12-10, the Aggies went on a 6-1 scoring run, started by two kills from Rachel Orr, to pull out to an 18-11 advantage. Sorensen would close out the opening set with a kill.
The Aggies would score the first three points of the second set and maintain the lead until the Redhawks rattled off five straight points as Lowrance and Dill combined on a block and earned two kills apiece. Consecutive kills from Dill and Jaeckel as well as a Dill service ace pulled Seattle U ahead, 17-15, but Utah State responded with five unanswered points to reclaim the second set advantage, 20-17. Back-to-back kills by Jaeckel pulled the Redhawks into a 21-21 tie, but kills by Elle Brainard and Sorensen sandwiched around two Seattle U attack errors clinched the second set for the visitors.
Utah State (15-7, 10-2 WAC) used three kills by Orr to open a 7-3 lead in the third set, again keeping the Redhawks at arm's length throughout the rest of the set. Ahead by just two at 16-14 after a kill by Lowrance, the Aggies extended their lead to 21-16 thanks in part to two kills and a block assist from White. Utah State scored the final three points of the match on consecutive kills by Sorensen, followed by the senior combining with Kaitlyn VanHoff on a block at match point.
Sorensen led the Aggies with 13 kills, not making an attack error, plus she collected nine digs and three total blocks. Orr contributed 10 kills, Paige Neves helped the offense post a .305 hitting percentage with 36 assists, and three different Utah State players earned 11 defensive digs each.
Seattle University (7-14, 2-9 WAC) hits the road for a tough trip, playing three matches in the span of five days, starting at Texas State Thursday, Oct. 25, at 6:30 p.m. local time (4:30 p.m. Pacific time). The Redhawks will also go to UTSA (Oct. 27) and New Mexico State (Oct. 29) during the road trip.