Total domination

By By Blake Moore

By Blake Moore

The No. 17 U volleyball team continued to roll through its conference matches with victories. Utah defeated New Mexico and Air Force Friday and Saturday night, adding to the best start in school history with a conference record of 10 wins and no losses.

The Utes (18-3 overall) beat the Lobos in four games after they overcame sluggish start in game one, losing 34-32. They would go on to dominate the next three games, allowing their opponent an average of 19 points per game. “They [New Mexico] came out aggressive in the first game,” Launiere said. “They outworked us. After that game, we were able to adjust the timing and control the pace more.”

Utes Danielle Leichliter and Lyndsey Henderson each had 15 kills in Friday’s match. “Danielle matched up really well against New Mexico’s defense, so I decided to give her the bulk of the playing time,” Launiere said. “She did a great job for us.”

Another key performance in the win over New Mexico came from U senior Kelsie Kartchner. Her versatile play was crucial in the win against New Mexico. Her powerful hitting and meticulous sets made her a threat from anywhere on the court. Kartchner also found time to convert on nine kills and accumulate the second-highest number of digs with eight. Amie Toone led the Utes with seven blocks. New Mexico was led by Nicole Ryan and Samie Weber with 11 kills apiece. Pleasant Grove native Chelsea Sondrup added nine kills of her own. After dropping both games this weekend, the Lobos are 1-10 in the MWC. On Saturday night the Air Force Academy invaded Crimson Court, but the Utes made quick work of them.

They swept the Falcons in three quick games, 30-14, 30-17 and 30-21, adding to Air Force’s winless conference record. After starting sluggish in game one against New Mexico the night before, coach Launiere wanted her team to come out strong, which it did.

The Utes had 16 kills and a hitting percentage of .583 in the first game alone. They would go on to average 15.6 kills a game against Air Force and their defensive stats were just as impressive, totaling 11 team blocks. Junior Shelly Sommerfeldt led the Utes’ offensive attack with nine kills. The defensive star was Lyndsey Henderson, who chalked up a team-high eight blocks.

The Utes hope to stay perfect for the last four games of the season. Next weekend they will travel to San Diego State and UNLV, and return home to finish off their last two conference games against Wyoming and Colorado State on Nov. 12 and 13.

[email protected]