In its Power of Pink match that took place on Friday night, the No. 12 ranked University of Utah volleyball team took on No. 13 UCLA. Brianna Doehrmann lead the way for the Utes who won the match, 3-1. She had a career-high 30 digs to help the Utes improve to a 17-3 overall record and 8-1 in conference play.
“I thought we played well for three and a half sets, the second set kind of got away from us, but we were the aggressors and came right back,” said head coach Beth Launiere. “I thought we played a pretty clean match and had some big performances. Brianna Doehrmann … she was everywhere which was very amazing from her.”
While set one went back and forth early on, it was Utah who took control of things after scoring five straight points to take an 8-3 lead before UCLA called a timeout. The Bruins gathered themselves and came back to put up a few points before Berkeley Oblad had a kill in the center of the court to put the Utes up 13-7. UCLA went on a run, stringing together five points to cut its deficit to 15-12. After a Utes’ timeout, Carly Trueman, Oblad and Dani Barton connected with the ball for three kills, forcing the Bruins to call another timeout.
From then on out, Utah continued to add on the points, leaving the Bruins in the dust. The Utes took set one, 25-20.
Adora Anae helped Utah start set two off on the right foot as she had two back-to-back kills. The Utes started hot as they scored the first four points of the set before the Bruins put up their first points of the night. Trueman’s kill later in the frame kept the Utes up by two points, but UCLA came from behind to then tie the game multiple times. The Bruins eventually pulled ahead to take set two, 25-22.
The Utes started off sluggish to begin the third set as they allowed UCLA to take an early 2-0 lead. The scoring bounced back and forth between the two teams, but the Utes found a way to finish the set as victors. A thunderous kill by Oblad followed by an ace from her as well, gave the Utes a 20-17 lead. It was a team effort that helped Utah finish the third set strong, 25-21.
Looking to seal the match with a win in the fourth set, Anae again helped Utah strike first with a kill. It wasn’t until Utah scored four straight points before UCLA made noise. The Utes continued to bring the intensity as they jumped out to a 10-3 lead, but that didn’t stop UCLA from fighting back, although the score remained in favor of Utah, 11-7. Utah went on to take a commanding 16-9 lead en route to a 25-19 victory.
“I’m from California, so growing up I remember watching UCLA all the time and going to the games,” Doehrmann said. “It feels good being on the other side of the net and beating that team I grew up watching.”
The Utes will return to action Sunday, Oct. 22 when they face USC, and Doehrmann is looking forward to her team hosting the No. 19 ranked Trojans.
“I think this was a big win, but we can’t let up,” Doehrmann said. “USC is a really great team, they have a lot of big wins and also they are good both offensively and defensively. I think that we need to keep our minds on, know that we need to win that game and [don’t] take for granted this win.”
The action gets underway at the Huntsman Center at 1 p.m. MT.