U volleyball claims fifth straight

By By Cody Brunner

By Cody Brunner

The No. 21 U volleyball team (7-2 overall, 0-0 MWC) hit the road last night, traveling to Weber State in search of its fifth consecutive win.

And that’s just what the Utes got.

The Utes trounced their in-state rival in three games behind the strong play of Kate Robison, who racked up a career-high 14 kills.

The Wildcats (4-10, 0-0 Big Sky) proved their worthiness in the opening frame, jumping out to a 5-1 lead to control early, but the Utes found their rhythm and battled back into the game to prevail, 30-25.

The Utes picked up their play considerably in the second game, utilizing a strong defense (12 blocks) and an aggressive offense to win in easy fashion, 30-12.

Junior middle-blocker Emillie Toone was credited with six blocks in the second frame alone to lead the Utes to the win.

With the third frame came continued dominance from the Utes, setting and spiking their way to a 30-18 victory.

U head coach Beth Launiere was pleased with the overall performance of the team.

“I thought we started out really slow, but we turned it around fast and played the kind of ball I know we can,” Launiere said. “That’s what competitors do; they turn it on and show up no matter who they are playing.”

Robison was the driving force behind the Utah attack, despite coming off of the bench.

“It’s so nice when you get help off the bench and I though Kate (Robison) did a great job for us tonight. She led our attack and was huge for the team,” Launiere said.

Robison was not the only player scoring points, though. The Utes amassed six aces through the three games, which is a vast improvement from their serving in the Utah Classic.

“We struggled with our serving last week and I thought we came out and did a great job tonight,” Launiere said. “When our serving and blocking are doing well, we can run up points in a hurry and that’s what we did tonight.”

The Utes used that blocking last night and denied their opponents 15 times. They also had more digs (55-46).

Toone finished the game hitting .455 with six kills and seven blocks.

Outside-hitter Whitney Webb also had a solid outing, racking up four kills on .500 hitting with six blocks.

Sophomore outside-hitter Airial Salvo returned to form for the Utes, recording her seventh double-double of the year with 12 kills and 11 kills.

Utah also out-hit the Wildcats .307-.051 in the contest.

The Utes will carry their five-match win streak into this weekend when they open up Mountain West Conference play against Colorado State and Air Force at Crimson Court.

Lennie Mahler

Utah junior Whitney Webb spikes the ball toward Utah State defenders during Friday’s match in the Utah Classic at Crimson Court. The Utes came out of the match with a 3-0 win over the Aggies, part of their current four-game winning streak.