After four sets were played between the No. 15 ranked University of Utah volleyball team and No. 11 Washington on Saturday, the Utes fell at home, 3-1.
“It was frustrating for sure,” said head coach Beth Launiere. “But you know, it was tough because statistically it was a really even match and so you don’t want officials to kind of be involved with what’s going on. It seemed like it went against us, but we still have to overcome that. It was frustrating, but we have to overcome it.”
Two questionable calls came in the third set, both going against the Utes. The first happened about midway through the frame when the Huskies were awarded one point for extra touches by Utah. The other questionable call came at the end of the set that gave the Huskies the match point.
“The theory behind the calls are some are missed for us, some are missed for them or whatever,” said senior Carly Trueman who matched her career high of 20 kills. “We can’t get caught up on stuff like that, although it is frustrating when they aren’t going your way, you just have to stay focused and get the next point.”
The Huskies took the first set 25-23 after a back and forth battle. The Huskies went up 15-10, but a run by the Utes cut Washington’s lead to two. The set was tied 23-23, but the Huskies were able to pull away and score the final two points.
In the second set of the night, the Utes were able to get into a rhythm and win 25-20. Adora Anae had eight kills in the set, and she finished with 24 on the night. With the match tied at 14-14, Utah put together a run to go up 24-19. It was freshman Kenzie Koerber who sealed the victory for the Utes will a kill of her own.
The third set is where things got interesting for the Utes when it came to how the referees were officiating. The score was tied at 14-14 when Utah took advantage of the momentum it had gained and it went up 21-19. The Huskies answered back with a run of their own and tied things at 22-22. A huge block by senior Tawnee Luafalemana gave the Utes the set point, but the Huskies responded. Washington went on to win on a service ace — a call that was challenged and lost by the Utes.
The loss wasn’t what Trueman wanted, but the high scoring sets are something Trueman gets a thrill out of and that was the case Friday night.
“They’re a lot of fun, I mean ones where we get all the kills are good too, but when you have back and forth, thirty second rallies where the ball crosses the net six times, it’s a lot of fun because your like ‘that’s some good volleyball’,” Trueman said.
The Huskies strength carried over into the fourth and final set. Washington went up 5-1 to open up the frame, but the Utes were able to get within two points. However, a kill at the end of the set from the Huskies earned them a 25-22 victory.
The Utes next head to California to play back-to-back matches against USC and UCLA. They’ll first face the Trojans on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. MT.