Volleyball Needs Success on Road

After splitting two road matches last weekend, the Utah volleyball team is looking to extend its undefeated record at home this weekend against UNLV and San Diego State.

However, Utah is looking at Oct. 19 and Nov. 3 as the biggest dates of the MWC season. After losing to both Colorado State and BYU on the road, the Utes will need to beat them when they arrive at Crimson Court on those dates.

Model of Consistency

Though she hasn’t been their most spectacular player, senior outside hitter McKelle Stilson has been the most consistent player for the Utes, even when they lose.

In Utah?s loss to Colorado State, Stilson had 7 kills and an attack percentage of .400, while the team as a whole hit for an average of .152.

In the match against the Cougars, Stilson added 8 kills and had a great percentage of .667, while the team only could muster up a killing percentage of .176.

She added 7 kills against Wyoming. She is averaging 2.27 kills per game and has an attack percentage of .285

She has been the clutch player of this team, and she will need to stay on the level she is at to win the MWC.

New Kid on the Block

Freshman setters Kelsie Kartchner and Tracy Neumeier now have another setter to share the load.

Sophomore Jackie Morrill, who has spent most of the year as a defensive specialist, assumed the role of a setter over the weekend.

In the match vs. the Rams, Morrill had 16 assists, while Kartchner had 20. She then led the team in assists against Wyoming, with 26.

Before this past weekend, Morrill had only accumulated 6 assists for the entire season.

Road Woes

The Utes depend on the home- court advantage, however, they need to develop an edge to win the road games.

The team is just 3-4 on the road, and the three wins all came against sub-par teams. Meanwhile, the four losses have all come to very good teams.

Ranked teams Arizona, Louisville, BYU and Colorado State all beat the Utes away from Salt Lake City, and while these losses were excusable, if the team loses another conference match on the road, then it can kiss any shot at the MWC title goodbye, considering the play of undefeated Colorado State and No. 11-ranked BYU.

Season Outlook

The Utes must win both matches this weekend to keep pace in the conference with the Rams and Cougars, but at some point, they will have to beat the two MWC powerhouses.

UNLV and San Diego State will provide a good test for the Utes, but Utah is more talented, is at home and should not be tested too much.

All games from here on out are conference matches (except for Weber State on Oct. 16), therefore every match is important.

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