For its third time during Pac-12 play this season, the University of Utah volleyball team completed a sweep. This time, in the annual blackout game at the Huntsman Center, it defeated the Washington State Cougars, 3-0.
“I thought everybody had a great week of practice and really regained focus, just really committed to getting ready for this match and it showed,” said head coach Beth Launiere. “We had great focus and great confidence. I’m really proud of how we played tonight.”
Utah’s Kenzie Koerber had the first kill of the night for the Utes. From then on the two teams exchanged points in a back and forth battle. The Utes went up 7-6 after Carly Trueman registered her first kill of the night. Adora Anae went on to score Utah’s next three points to give her five total kills, and a 13-10 Utah lead. The Utes led 15-13 before Washington State called a timeout on the floor. The Cougars came out of the break and they scored, but that didn’t slow down the Utes. Anae stayed aggressive and registered two kills in a row before putting her finishing touches on set one with another kill to lead the Utes to a 25-18 victory.
In set two, the Utes continued their hot start as they took a 6-2 advantage before the Cougars called their first timeout of the frame. Berkeley Oblad had a block before the Utes really began to take control. Oblad scored on an ace giving the Utes a commanding 11-4 lead that forced the Cougars to take another timeout. Oblad went on to score on a block, setting the Utes up for the set point that was scored by Trueman to give the Utes a 25-11 win.
In the third set, the Utes picked up where they left off as they brought the intensity to take an early 2-0 edge. The Cougars scored two points in a row, but the Utes were up by eight at that point. Oblad scored on a hard hitting kill to go up 12-3, but the Cougars built up some momentum as they rallied to cut their deficit, 12-8. The Utes regained focus, and Trueman put the game away thanks to a kill. The Utes won 25-18 to complete the sweep.
“It went really well, we won in three, so I think that will be a good set up for Saturday,” Trueman said. “It was nice, we got some pressure off of us and we look to continue to turn it around.”
The Utes will now prepare for their match on Saturday, Nov. 4 when they will take on the Washington Huskies at the Huntsman Center at 7 p.m.
“Washington, they’re a really good team, so we are going to have to really battle and play with the confidence we played with tonight,” Launiere said. “They poise some problems, so we have to stay with the offense and play confident.”