Utah State volleyball will continue its Mountain West slate this week, traveling to Laramie, Wyoming, for a road contest at Wyoming on Thursday, Oct. 11, at 6:30 p.m.
The Cowgirls have had a week off to prepare for the Aggies with their last match coming last Thursday, a 3-2 victory over Air Force in Laramie. Wyoming has won its last two matches as part of a current four-match homestand and stands with an overall mark of 12-6 and a 4-2 ledger in the Mountain West.
Wyoming is hitting .248 (867-297-2,299) as a team this season and is led individually by senior outside Emily Lewis with 153 kills, averaging 2.43 per set. In all, the Cowgirls have five players averaging more than two kills per set in Lewis, junior outside Halie McArdle (2.11 kps), senior middle Reed Copeland (2.10 kps), junior outside Tara Traphagan (2.07 kps) and sophomore middle Jackie McBride (2.03 kps). Wyoming runs a 6-2 with junior Cori Aafedt and sophomore Marissa Harmon sharing the setting duties, totaling 414 and 186 assists and averaging 6.09 and 4.43 per set, respectively.
Defensively, opponents are hitting .164 (838-443-2,405) against the Cowgirls, which ranks second in the Mountain West. Junior libero Madi Fields leads the Cowgirl back row with 294 digs, averaging 4.45 per set to rank second in the Mountain West. Copeland leads the Wyoming block with 121 on the year, averaging 1.78 per set to rank No. 1 in the Mountain West.
Wyoming holds a narrow 19-17 edge in the all-time series. Last season, the teams split the matches as the road teams captured victories. The Aggies' 3-1 victory in Laramie last season snapped a six-match winning streak by the Cowgirls. Coincidentally, Utah State had a six-match winning streak of its own prior to Wyoming's run.
USU is currently 3-14 on the year and 1-5 in league play. The Aggies are hitting .171 (751-355-2,311) on the year and led individually by sophomore outsides Bailey Downing and Gabbi Shumway with 189 and 162 kills, respectively. The duo is averaging more than two kills per set with Downing leading the way with 2.74 per frame and Shumway averaging 2.42 per set. Senior setter Kassidy Johnson has directed the attack all year, totaling 609 assists and averaging 8.70 per set. Johnson surpassed 2,000 career assists last weekend, bringing her total to 2,031 and moving to No. 8 on the career assist list in USU history.
Johnson is leading the Aggies this season with nine double-doubles, including double-doubles in four of the last five matches, as she ranks second on the team with 199 digs, averaging 2.84 per set. Senior libero Tasia Taylor leads the Utah State back row with 298 digs, averaging 4.26 to rank fourth in the Mountain West. Freshman middle Corinne Larsen is the top blocker for the Aggies this season, totaling 88 and averaging 1.28 per set. Larsen is the first freshman to average more than one block per set since the 2014 season.
Utah State has found a great deal of success with its block, leading its opponents with a 172.5 to 142.0 advantage. The Aggies have matched or logged more blocks than their opponents in all but four matches this season. Senior middle Lauren O'Brien is just behind Larsen with 78 blocks, averaging 1.16 per set, and the duo is one of only two in the Mountain West among the top seven in the league in blocks per set.
Fans can follow the match in Laramie via live stats and live video links on the volleyball schedule page online.