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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Spiking Utes finish regular season on a high note

Outside, the weather was sloppy, but inside Crimson Court, the Utes’ play was anything but.

No. 19 Utah sent their seniors off right, posting a quick three-game sweep of Eastern Washington Saturday evening.

Game scores were 30-25, 30-21 and 30-25.

“I told [the team] I wanted focus and desire for three games to 30 points with no letdowns,” U coach Beth Launiere said. “I don’t think we had any letdowns tonight.”

The advice appeared to pay off, as the Eagles had a tough time hanging with Utah for the full 30 points.

Game one featured quite a few errors on both sides. Utah was held to a .094 hitting percentage, but were bailed out by Eastern Washington errors and a good defensive effort.

“Defensively we were a lot quicker to the ball,” Launiere said, pleased with the effort after two straight losing matches in which the defense had been lax. “We were more focused overall.”

The second game began with a two-zero lead for the Eagles, but they couldn’t avoid the errors, giving Utah three free points, and a three-two lead.

Eastern couldn’t get anything going after the early struggles, and the Utes coasted to a 30-21 victory.

The Eagles looked like they had finally solved the Utes attack in game three. Eastern held the lead throughout most of the game, causing Launiere to call timeout at 17-13. The Utes could not climb any closer, prompting the Ute coach to spend another timeout at 20-16.

After the timeout, the Utes suddenly could do no wrong and the Eagles could do nothing right. The Utes piled on a 12-2 run, stunning the eagles and putting Utah in a 28-22 advantage. With the big lead in hand, Launiere was able to pull the seniors off the court one by one to allow a final ovation in their last Crimson Court game. Utah took the final game 30-25.

Lyndsey Henderson led all players with 12 kills, a fitting end to her stellar Ute career.

“I got all choked up and couldn’t control my emotions,” Henderson said. “I can’t imagine myself not playing.”

The atmosphere was especially sweet for Henderson, who chose Purdue over Utah coming out of Orem High. She transferred to the U after her freshman season.

“The coaches have been so good to me,” Henderson said. “They have befriended me even though I didn’t go here at the beginning.”

The Toone sisters rang up a few highlights of their own. In front of a large family cheering section, Amie snagged eight kills, while hitting .636 on the evening. Sister Emillie nailed four kills of her own, for a perfect 1.000 hitting performance.

Ashley Jensen led the way for the Eagles with nine kills, hitting .300. Highland High alum Angie Johnson added four kills in her Salt Lake City homecoming.

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