The University of Utah volleyball team had a great weekend at the Montana Volleyball Invitational. The Utes took three victories in all three of their matches, defeating Montana, Gonzaga and Iowa State.
The Utes started off their opening match Friday morning against the Grizzlies out of the University of Montana. The Utes started off the first set strong, beginning a 5-0 run with a 13-11 lead. Montana fought back with a 4-0 run, forcing the Utes to take a time out. The Utes didn’t allow them to go any further and finished the set off right after with a 10-2 run, finishing off the first set 25-19. The Utes started off the second match even stronger than the first as they kept up a 5-1 lead. Once they reached their 20-point mark they set the win with six of the last seven points, finishing the match at 25-17. Starting off the third set leading 15-14, Utah brought the heat with middle blocker Berkeley Oblad as she served a winning 7 straight points, bringing the Utes to close out the match on a 10-1 run. The Utes finished the third set 25-15.
The Utes finished off their first night cruising past Gonzaga as well, winning the first 2 sets 25-21 and 25-18. Gonzaga tried to fight back in the third set by winning 7 straight points to take the lead and giving themselves 4 consecutive set points. The Utes took control with setter Bailey Choy as she tied the score by serving 4 straight points. Even though Gonzaga stopped the serving streak, the Utes closed out the match with a 27-25 victory to complete the sweep.
On the last day of the tournament, Utah went up against the Cyclones of Iowa State who also received votes in the AVCA Coaches Poll. The U was a good match for Iowa State with three leading scores in kills: Outside Hitters Lauga Gauta with 14, Dani Drews with 13 and Kenzie Koerber with 10.
Iowa State started off the first set on a 5-0 run. The Utes didn’t take long to respond, and fought back with their own 6-0 run. Iowa State didn’t allow the Utes to take the lead for very long, but the Utes pushed through again with a 6-1 run, to lead 21-18. Utah finished off the first set with three straight kills from Dani Drews and a block from middle blocker Phoebe Grace. Drews then gave Utah the set with a 25-22 score. Iowa State started off with control of the second set, but Utah saw a turn around after their second time out as the Cyclones led 17-11. Utah pushed through and kept up a 9-1 run, and took the second set 25-21. The Utes finished off the third set, winning 25-17.
The Utes had a phenomenal weekend, taking each of their opponents 3-0 at the Montana Volleyball Invitational. The Utes have their last pre-season tournament this weekend at the Villanova Volleyball Invitational starting Friday, September 7th.