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Utah State sports briefs

VOLLEYBALL: Utah State's women's volleyball team will begin the 2009 season in Ogden, Utah at the Best Western Canyon Pines Weber State Invitational hosted by Weber State on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 28-29. The Aggies will open the tournament at 7:30 p.m., on Friday against the host Wildcats. Live stats for every match during the tournament will be available via Weber State's web site at www.weberwildcats.com.

Utah State is 30-19 all-time against Weber State, which includes an 11-8 road record. USU has won nine of its last 10 matches against the Wildcats, including six straight on the road. Utah State is 15-18 all-time in season openers, including wins in two of its last four years. USU is also 32-40 (.444) in regular season tournaments over the last nine years, which includes a 26-22 (.542) record on neutral courts.

Utah State is picked to finish third in the Western Athletic Conference this season, returns six starters and seven letter winners from last year's team that went 11-17 overall and finished in fourth-place in the WAC with a

9-7 league record. Among those returning for USU are juniors Katie Astle (MB), Chelsea Fowles (S), Christine Morrill (LIB), Danielle Taylor (MB) and Lori Wilson-Beckstrom (OH), and sophomores Emily Kortsen (OPP) and Liz McArthur (OH).

Utah State will conclude the tournament with a pair of matches on Saturday against Gonzaga and Utah Valley at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., respectively. USU is 3-1 all-time against the Bulldogs and 4-1 all-time against the Wolverines.

SOCCER: For the first time since 2006, the Utah State soccer team will take on a Big 12 opponent, when the Aggies take on Texas Tech on Friday, Aug. 28 at the Miner Classic in El Paso, Texas at 5 p.m. USU will also take

Stephen F. Austin on Sunday, Aug. 30 at 11 a.m.

The Red Raiders are the first of two Big 12 matches on the Aggies' schedule this season as USU will also face Oklahoma State. Texas Tech is the first ever Big 12 opponent for Utah State. This is the first meeting between the

Aggies and both the Red Raiders and the Ladyjacks.

USU is 1-0-0 after defeating Northern Arizona on Aug. 21 in Logan, 2-0. Sophomores Summer Tillotson and Shantel Flanary scored the first two goals of the season for the Aggies, while fellow sophomore Danielle Shorts

registered her first collegiate assist. Sophomore goalkeeper Molli Merrill shut down the Lumberjacks for her first collegiate shutout.

This is the 14th season of Utah State soccer. The program holds an overall record of 97-133-14. Last year, the Aggies were 13-8-1, which was the third-straight season they had won at least 10 matches.