Bounce back Saturday

Coming off of a disappointing three- games-to-none loss versus Notre Dame, the U volleyball team will try to get back on course on Saturday afternoon when archrival BYU comes calling.

“Any time Utah and BYU meet in any sport, it’s a big match,” U coach Beth Launiere said. “But more importantly, it’s also a conference match.”

While the loss to Notre Dame was disconcerting, it was a non-conference setback. Utah is still a perfect 7-0 in the Mountain West, with half the conference slate still to play.

“You don’t want to lose any games,” Ute libero Connie Dangerfield said. “But if we were going to lose one, [Notre Dame] was the best time.”

BYU comes in hyped up after defeating the same Notre Dame team that swept Utah.The Cougars took an exciting five- game match from the Irish, and now stand at 11-8 overall, and 4-3 in conference play.

The Utes have already met BYU once this season, taking a four-game match in Provo. The Cougars haven’t beaten the Utes in three years, but still hold a strong 53-16 series lead.

In order for the Utes to continue the streak, reigning MWC Player of the Week Lyndsey Henderson will need to get back to form.

The senior middle blocker was held to just 10 kills and committed five service errors against Notre Dame. Last time she squared off against the Cougars, Henderson tallied 14 kills and five blocks, en route to the key road victory. While BYU uses a smaller rotation than Utah, they have some strong players.

Outside hitter Kim Wilson leads the team with 3.42 kills per game. She single-handedly kept BYU in the match last time they faced Utah, racking up a game-high 19 kills, and a strong .395 hitting percentage.

Lauren Richards leads the Cougs in assists with 12.07 per game, and Lyndsey Metcalf sets the pace with 2.52 digs per game.

Launiere’s record now stands at 290- 174. With nine regular-season matches and conference and NCAA tournaments left to play, she has a chance to reach the 300-win plateau this season. Launiere has the most wins of any Ute volleyball head coach, 212 more than Jean Widdison.First serve versus BYU is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday in Crimson Court. The rare matinee time was put in place to give fans a chance to take in both the volleyball and football games.

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