This past weekend, the University of Utah hosted No. 19 Washington State and No. 21 Washington for the Utah pink week. Utah took a loss Wednesday night against Washington State but swept Washington 3-0 Friday night. With the tragic events that occurred on campus last Monday night, the Utes tried to push through the weekend with high hopes.
“It definitely has been a really flat week because of what happened on campus and everyone has been dealing with it differently,” said outside hitter Dani Drews. “I think Wednesday was a little bit flatter than we were used to, and I think everyone was just dealing with their emotions differently. I thought our coach at our practice after our game on Wednesday did a great job of just telling us that we just have to focus on the next one, and take what we have learned from the last game and just try to change what we could for this game and I felt like we did a really good job of responding.”
Before the first match Wednesday night, both teams linked arms on the court holding a moment of silence to honor Lauren McCluskey. Utah had a tough match Wednesday night against No. 19 Washington State. The Utes lost in three sets, never able to catch up to the Cougars.
Libero Brianna Doehermann tried to make the most of Wednesday’s match. Doehermann needed seven digs at the start of the match in order to reach 1,000 career digs. By the end of the first set, she had reached that number. Doehermann is the 11th player in Utah volleyball history to reach 1,000 career digs.
The Utes went on to play No. 21 Washington Friday night for Utah’s pink match. The Utes honored breast cancer survivors before the match.
Utah had a big turnaround after Wednesday’s match, sweeping the Huskies 3-0. Drews led the team with 15 kills and outside hitter Lauga Gauta followed right behind with 13. The Utes feel that this sweep has helped them build the confidence they need to go on to the next half of the season.
“I think it’s a lot of good momentum that we’re going to need going into the second half,” Drews said. “LG [Lauga Gauta] did a great job tonight coming out on the outside, she was swinging awesome. She’s good enough and Megan’s good enough to play any position too.”
The Utes are going to be back on the road this next weekend to take on Cal on Friday, Nov. 2nd and Stanford Sunday, Nov. 4th.