Doing the Texas three-step: Volleyball sweeps TCU to continue hot streak

Joe Beatty

Chronicle Sports Editor

As the volleyball season hits the final stretch, the Utes are peaking at just the right time.

The team (16-6, 8-3 MWC) continued its hot streak, winning its fifth-straight match on Saturday night in a three-game sweep of conference-newcomer Texas Christian University (15-11, 3-7 MWC).

Game scores were 30-22, 30-18 and 30-18.

“It was a complete team effort,” U head coach Beth Launiere said. “We came in focused and prepared and played well because of it.”

One of the reasons for the rout was a marked improvement in serving.

The Utes had worked hard on that facet of their game during the preceding week’s practice, and apparently the extra reps paid off.

The Utes notched eight service aces, compared with only three by the Horned Frogs.

It was a big role reversal, with TCU entering the match No. 1 in the MWC in aces, while the Utes were ranked dead last in the category.

Six Utes got at least one ace, with Lori Baird and Whitney Webb leading the way with two each.

The Utes dominated defensively. They out-blocked TCU 15.5 to six and were led by Baird and Emillie Toone, who both had six assisted blocks.

The wall at the net kept the Frogs from getting any sort of offensive rally going, as they hit a paltry .008 percent on the evening.

Airial Salvo was the main threat for the Utes, getting 12 kills and eight digs.

She was the only U player with double figures in kills. Shelly Sommerfeldt was next with nine.

With the season sweep of TCU under their belt, the Utes now head home for a showdown with archrival BYU.

The Cougars are a perfect 20-0, which includes an 11-0 mark in conference play.

BYU has already knocked off the Utes once this season, winning in four games in Provo.

But this time, BYU must come to Crimson Court, where the Utes are 9-0 this season and have beaten BYU five straight times.

First serve is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m.

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