Volleyball looks to roll on

After another successful road trip, No. 14 Utah volleyball returns to Crimson Court for a rare Tuesday home game. The Utes take a break from the conference slate to host Notre Dame.

Utah has won a school record 12 straight matches. During the streak, they have beaten two top ten teams (UCLA, Colorado State) and have been taken to five games only twice (UCLA, New Mexico). They currently stand at 15-2 overall, with an unblemished 7-0 conference record. Over the weekend, Utah knocked off then-No. 7 Colorado State and Wyoming. The Utes had never won at CSU, notching yet another first in this record-breaking season.

“It was a total team effort,” Ute coach Beth Launiere said. “Every single player did their job.”

Middle blocker Lyndsey Henderson’s sterling performance in both games did not go unnoticed, as she was named the Mountain West Conference player of the week. Henderson hit a robust .580 over the two matches, averaging 4.38 kills and 1.88 blocks.

“She completely deserved it,” Launiere said. “She dominated in our biggest weekend of the year.”

It was Henderson’s first time winning the honor, but if she continues her current play, more awards shouldn’t be too far off. She currently stands fifth in the nation in blocks per game with 1.78. In the Mountain West Conference, she is second in blocks, third in kills per game (3.60) and fourth in hitting percentage (.358). This is the second time this year the Utes have had a player win the weekly award, as libero Connie Dangerfield took it home earlier in the season after setting a school record for digs vs. UCLA.

Notre Dame comes to Crimson Court with a 9-5 record, while competing in the difficult Big East Conference.

Coach Debbie Brown is in her 14th year at the helm of the Irish, compiling a career record of 332-114, a .744 winning percentage. She has led Notre Dame to 12 straight NCAA tournament appearances.

While blocking is usually Utah’s forte, the Irish have a blocking weapon of their own. Middle blocker Lauren Brewster led the country in blocking as a sophomore last season with 1.78 per game. Her 1.68 per game average is best in school history. Outside hitter Emily Loomis is another key component to the Irish attack, with 1,139 career kills. She ranks 12th in the all-time Notre Dame record book.

“We match up pretty well against them,” Launiere said. “We just have to stay away from their good blockers.”

First serve is set for 7 p.m.

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