Utah State women's volleyball lost a pair of matches on Saturday during the final day of the Ultra Ankle Challenge in Corvallis, Oregon. The Aggies opened the day with a 3-0 loss to Seattle and then recorded the same result later in the afternoon with a 3-0 loss to Portland. The losses dropped Utah State to 0-3 on the year.
Utah State had to play from behind most of the match against Seattle, as the Redhawks held leads early in the first and second sets. The Aggies reversed a 10-5 deficit in the first set with a 7-1 run to take their first lead of the frame, 12-11. The advantage didn't hold as Seattle put together a three-point run, taking a 14-12 lead and then took the set 25-22, behind back-to-back kills.
The Aggies came back to tie the second set three times after falling behind 2-0 early, knotting the score at 5-5, 10-10 and 15-15. The Redhawks broke the final deadlock with a seven-point run and captured their first set point at 24-16. Utah State then scored two in a row, behind a kill by sophomore outside Simone Gibeau and a Seattle error, but the run and set ended, 25-18, on a closing kill by the Redhawks.
USU got out to quick start in the third set, scoring the first three points behind kills by junior right side Kayla DeCoursey and senior outside Kaylie Kamalu-Smith. The Aggies led by as much as seven in the frame, 20-13, hitting a match-best .359 (19-5-39) during the set. Utah State looked to be on the cusp of forcing a fourth set with a 24-22 lead, but Seattle came back with four-straight points to take the match, 26-24.
Junior outside Lauren Anderson was the top attacker for the Aggies in the match, logging 11 kills for her second straight double-digit kill outing. Senior libero Hannah Gleason recorded 10 digs, extending her streak of consecutive matches with double-digit digs to 12.
As a team, Utah State hit .206 (38-18-97) during the match to Seattle's .280 (42-14-100).
In the second match of the day, Utah State fell behind early again in the first set as Portland built a 15-7 lead and prompted a Utah State timeout. The Pilots held onto the lead, taking their first set point at 24-17. However, the Aggies continued to fight and scored two straight behind kills by Anderson and sophomore middle Lauren O'Brien. The run and set ended on the next rally when Portland recorded a kill for the 25-19 victory.
The second set was closer during the opening points as the teams jostled between four ties and a pair of lead changes. The Aggies had a 12-9 lead midway through the set, but Portland made up the difference and took a 16-13 lead of its own, following a 7-1 run. Utah State came back to within one, 16-15, but was out scored, 9-2, down the stretch as the Pilots took the set, 25-17.
The Aggies came out strong in the third set, scoring the first five points and carried the five-point cushion into a 15-10 lead. The Pilots put together another run, much like the second set, and scored six straight, before Utah State ended the run and tied the set at 16-16. The teams were tied three more times down the stretch, culminating in a 21-21 deadlock, when the Pilots closed out the match with a four-point run for the 25-21 victory.
Kamalu-Smith led the USU offense during the match with 12 kills, while the Aggies hit .151 (31-17-93) as a team. Portland was led by a pair of double-digit attackers as Hannah Troutman and Katie Sullivan paced the team with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. The Pilot offense finished the match hitting .300 with 42 kills on 110 attempts with only nine errors.
Defensively, Gleason led both teams with a match-high 17 digs to extend her streak of double digits to 13 matches. Following the match, Anderson was named to the all-tournament team after leading the Aggie outsides with a .240 hitting percentage (34-10-100) during the weekend.
Utah State continues tournament play next week when the Aggies travel to Denver, Colorado, and compete in the Pioneer Invitational, facing Denver, Montana State and Loyola Marymount. USU will begin tournament against Montana State on Friday, Sept. 2, at 3 p.m. MT.
Kyle Cottam is the Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations at Utah State University.