It was another busy weekend for Aggie athletics, with the exception of one sport many were wanting to see.
Utah State’s men’s basketball team had its two-game series with Wyoming called off when the Cowboys decided they didn’t want to come to Logan. The Aggies last played on Feb. 4 at Fresno State.
Despite not playing, USU has remained atop the Mountain West Conference standings with an 11-2 league record. The Aggies have a better winning percentage than 12-3 Boise State, which is in second. The Broncos just happen to be USU’s next opponent
The Aggies are scheduled to play at Boise State on Wednesday and Friday this week. Wins are vital for both teams to lock up the top seed for the upcoming conference tournament. Plus, Colorado State (11-3) and San Diego State (9-3) are right behind the Aggies and Broncos.
While the Cowboys decided not to make the trip west, the Cowgirls were just fine with the Aggies coming east.
Wyoming completed the sweep of USU on Saturday afternoon with a 79-42 blowout. It was a season-low point total for the Aggies (4-13, 2-10 MW) as they allowed the Cowgirls (10-9, 8-8) to make a season-high 17 3-pointers and score a season-best 79 points.
Emmie Harris led USU in scoring with 11 points, while Jessica Chatman grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. The Aggies made just 2 of 13 shots from long range and shot 31.3 percent from the field for the game.
USU hosts Boise State this week in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Thursday at 6 p.m. and on Saturday at 2 p.m.
It was not the Senior Night the Aggies were planning on.
After some impressive road and home scores, No. 21 USU struggled some last Saturday in hosting No. 22 Boise State in a Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference meet. The Broncos left town with a 196.40 to 195.325 victory.
There were some highlights for the Aggies (1-6). Leighton Varnadore captured the all-around crown with a season-best 39.20, while Mikaela Meyer won the vault title for the fourth-consecutive meet with a 9.85. Autumn DeHarde tied for first on the floor exercise with a 9.85.
For her performance Saturday, Meyer was tabbed the co-MRGC Vault Specialist of the Week for the third-consecutive week. It is the third time this year — fifth time in her career — that the native of Meyersville, Maryland, has garnered a weekly accolade from the MRGC.
The Aggies had to count a fall on the uneven bars, which proved costly. USU was solid on the other three events.
On Monday, the Aggies dropped two spots in the national rankings to No. 23. USU will begin a stretch of four road meets this Friday at No. 17 Southern Utah.
The Broncos also got the best of the Aggies in this sport, completing a sweep in a two-match series on Saturday. Boise State won in three sets, 25-18, 25-18, 25-22.
USU (0-4) took early leads in each set Saturday, but could not maintain the momentum. The Aggies did play well in the third, stringing together nine straight points late in the set, but it wasn’t enough.
Outside hitter Kristy Frank led the team with 11 kills. Libero Grace DuBay was tops in digs with 15, while setter Kalena Vaivai had 19 assists. Bailey Downing and Corinne Larsen each had five blocks.
USU has a bye this week.
The Aggies wrapped up their opening weekend of the season at the Easton Invitational Saturday in Fullerton, California.
USU (0-4) was blanked by Oregon State, 6-0, and then lost to host Cal State Fullerton, 4-3.
In the first game, the Aggies were no hit. Lexi Orozco drew a walk for the lone baserunner of the game for USU.
Against the Titans, the Aggies had the lead several times before two home runs by the hosts ended up being the difference. Orozco had three of eight USU hits. Former Ridgeline star Tyler Thornton went 1 for 2 at the plate and scored a run.
USU is back in action this weekend in St. George at the Dixie State Classic. The Aggies will play five games in three days.
USU opened its three-match week with a 5-2 home win over in-state rival Weber State on Sunday. The Aggies (3-1) have now won seven straight matches against the Wildcats.
USU started by winning the doubles point. Jack Ninteman and Roko Savin finished first, defeating Kris Van Wyk and Brendan Barr, 6-3, at the No. 3 position. The No. 1 duo of Felipe Acosta and Javier Ruiz also posted a 6-3 win, topping Sebastian Buxman and Arthur Serafim. With the point clinched, the No. 2 match was left unfinished.
Things were tight and competitive all through singles play. The Wildcats tied the score with a win at No. 1, but the Aggies took the lead back when Acosta earned a win (7-5, 4-1) in the No. 2 spot as Serafim retired with an injury. Souf El Mesbahi battled through a tiebreak to win his straight-sets match (6-3, 7-6) over Bo-Han Li at No. 4, extending USU’s lead. Just minutes later, though, Weber State pulled back within a point with a win at No. 3 singles.
The Aggie win was clinched in the No. 6 position, where Keanu Rigby, a former Bear River High star, topped Brendan Barr in straight sets (6-4, 6-2). With the match already decided, Ruiz played his third set to a super-tie break, defeating Van Schoor (6-3, 3-6, 2-1).
USU remains at home for two matches this week. The Aggies host Denver on Friday and Colorado Mesa on Saturday. Both matches will start at 11 a.m. In-person attendance is limited to family members only, but the match will be streamed live on the USU Athletics YouTube and live stats and updates will be provided.
USU fell at Northern Arizona at Flagstaff, 5-2.
The Lumberjacks won the doubles point, but the Aggies were able to pick up one victory there. Gabrielle Dekkers and Renata Lombera teamed up at the No. 1 position, defeating Ellie Millard and Mimi Bland, 6-2.
The Aggies also added two wins in singles play against NAU. Zara Ryan posted a straight-sets victory over Millard, 7-5, 6-3, at the No. 2 spot. In the No. 6 position, Annaliese County battled it out to take a three-set win, including a dominant super-tiebreak (6-3, 6-7, 10-1).
The Aggies don’t play again until March 6 at New Mexico State.
ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Aggie golfer Colten Cordingley was named the America First Credit Union USU Student-Athlete of the Week Monday. The award is voted on by a state-wide medial panel.
Cordingley finished with a career-best 54-hole score of 9-under par 207 (68-68-71) to tie for third at the Southern Utah-hosted Pizza Hut-Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational, which was held Feb. 6-8 at the Sunbrook Golf Course in St. George.
Cordingley played his last three holes during the final round at 3-under par as he made birdie on each one to finish with a 1-under 71, giving him three under-par rounds for the tournament. He was one of three golfers to lead the tournament in par-3 scoring (2.83).