It wasn’t exactly the way they wanted Saturday night to play out, but the Aggies are not going to complain too much.
The Utah State volleyball team got swept at San Jose State, but still managed to capture its first-ever Western Athletic Conference regular season title. That’s because New Mexico State lost to UTSA.
So, despite the 25-22, 26-24, 25-21 setback to the Spartans, the Aggies locked up the title with a 14-3 league mark. NMSU and UTSA are both 12-5 in WAC play and cannot catch USU. There is just one match left in the regular season.
With the loss at Spartan Gym, the Aggies (19-8 overall) saw a six-match winning streak snapped, as well as a school-record eight-match road winning streak. San Jose State is 13-14 overall and 9-8 in WAC play with the win.
While this is the first regular-season title for USU, the Aggies did win the 2010 WAC Tournament. USU's last conference title was winning the Eastern Division of the Big West in 1999 under Tom Peterson. Current USU head coach Grayson DuBose was an assistant on that team.
The Aggies were led by opposite side hitter Shay Sorensen, who had 12 kills and seven digs. Her 12 kills leaves her one shy of the USU top 10 career kills list as she now has 862. Sorensen also posted two block assists, giving her 268 career block assists, breaking into USU's top 10 career block assists list.
Outside hitter Josselyn White added seven kills and a team-high 12 digs. Setter Paige Neves dished out 24 assists and now has 1,003 assists on the season. Neves is the ninth different player to accomplish the feat at USU.
Aggie middle blocker Elle Brainard had five blocks against the Spartans, giving her 145 this season, which is eighth on the single-season block list.
All three sets with the Spartans were tight. San Jose State took the first two when USU made mistakes — a service error in the first and an attack error in the second. The Spartans used an ace by Hanah Blume to take the third and the match.
The Aggies return to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to host Texas State on Wednesday in their final home match. It will be Senior Night as USU will be honoring Kassi Hargrove, Sorensen and White.