Volleyball takes on Idaho State

By By Cody Brunner and By Cody Brunner

By Cody Brunner

The No. 16 U volleyball team heads to Pocatello, Idaho, tonight, putting its 10-match win streak on the line against the Idaho State Bengals (7-11 overall, 3-3 Big Sky).

Utah comes into the match-up after delivering a 3-1 shellacking to BYU last Friday, giving the Cougars their first conference loss of the season.

Freshman setter Sydney Anderson guided the Utes to the upset win, amassing a career-high 57 assists and 13 digs. It was her third-straight double-double and the fourth of her career. Anderson also finished with a career-high six kills on eight attempts in hitting .750 for the match. Her efforts earned her Mountain West Conference Co-Player of the Week.

Outside-hitter Airial Salvo leads the Utes’ aerial attack, knocking down 4.20 kills per game to rank second in the Mountain West.

Defensively, junior middle-blocker Emillie Toone still leads the country in blocks despite having a sub-par three-block performance against the Cougars.

On the back row, Connie Dangerfield continues to stake herself as one of the premier liberos in the Mountain West, picking up 20 digs against BYU. The performance bolstered her season average to 4.13 digs per game, which ranks fifth in the Mountain West.

Dangerfield will be in charge of stopping the Bengals’ offense-namely, Nikki Havens, who averages 3.44 kills per game. The senior outside-hitter led ISU to a 3-1 victory over Weber State with 18 kills last Saturday.

Outside-hitter Jessica Gurney will attack the Utes from the other side after a 12-kill effort of her own against the Wildcats.

Freshman Christine Collette quarterbacks the Bengal offense from her setter position, averaging 8.67 assists per game.

On defense, Karli Maughan leads the team at the net with 0.87 blocks per game. If anything gets past Maughan, it will be fielded by Bri Beal, who comes into the match averaging 4.66 digs per game.

U head coach Beth Launiere was happy with the Utes’ performance last week and looks to improve the team’s all-around game as they step out of conference play.

“I’m extremely pleased with how we performed last Friday against BYU,” Launiere said. “We’re still not doing the little things all of the time. We are really trying to pay attention to detail and execute everything at a very high level.”

Utah holds an all-time 23-9 advantage over the Bengals and has won the last nine matches. The last meeting between the teams took place Aug. 26, 2005, with the Utes sweeping the Bengals.

Idaho State will try to avoid a similar fate tonight when it takes on the stalwart Utes in Pocatello.

Lennie Mahler

Connie Dangerfield goes up for a serve last Saturday in the Peterson Gym against SDSU. The 18th-ranked Utes face 16th-ranked BYU Cougars in a rivalry match on Friday in Provo.