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By By Cody Brunner and By Cody Brunner

By Cody Brunner

The No. 12 U volleyball team kept its streak alive last night, stepping out of conference play to snag its 14th consecutive win, sweeping the UVSC Wolverines (11-8).

The Utes vaunted defense presented itself once again, picking up 16 blocks to stymie the Wolverines at the net, ultimately winning 3-0.

It was Utah’s offense that took charge in the first game though, punishing UVSC early to take a 9-1 lead. The Wolverines were unable to mount any kind of offense, scoring their first three points off Ute hitting errors. Then the U defense got involved, widening the margin to 12 with blocks from Emillie Toone and Whitney Webb and the Utes took a 19-7 lead. From there, the U cruised to an easy 30-15 victory, finishing the game with an attack from Toone.

Outside-hitter Kathryn Lovell led the offense in the first frame, slamming down five kills.

The second game saw the Wolverines jump out to a 6-5 lead early, but the Utes worked their way back into the game behind a pair of Lori Baird aces and took a two-point lead on a crushing Salvo kill. UVSC didn’t let Utah get into too much of a rhythm though, putting together a 5-1 run later in the game to take a 15-13 lead. Not to be outdone on their home court, the Utes dug and dove their way to tie the game at 17, then took a 23-18 lead on a 6-1 run. The Wolverines closed the gap to three (26-23) before the Utes finished them off, scoring four of the last six points to win 30-25.

Airial Salvo and Whitney Webb led the Ute offense in the second game, tallying four kills apiece. Webb also had three blocks in the frame to stifle the Wolverine attack.

The third game opened with a trio of Salvo kills and the Utes took a 6-1 lead. Utah kept building on that lead with kills from Chelsea Sandberg and Salvo to widen the margin to 13-6. The Wolverines didn’t go out without a fight though, scoring 10 of the next 15 points to close the gap to 18-16. The U defense took over from there, blocking six consecutive balls to lead the Utes on an 8-0 run and close the game in convincing fashion, winning the game and match on a Sandberg kill.

Sandberg and Webb led the Utes to a season-high in blocks with nine and eight, respectively. Webb unselfishly denies any credit, though.

“Our middle, Chelsea (Sandberg), was just blocking everything. I was just going up there with her, but she made contact with pretty much all of those balls,” Webb said.

Webb had a solid night on offense as well, picking up 12 kills on .611 hitting for the U.

“Whitney continues to come through for us in clutch situations. When we need a kill, it seems like she always get it. She was jumping out of the gym tonight,” U head coach Beth Launiere said.

On the opposite side, Salvo led the team with 13 kills and managed a .310 hitting percentage.

Anything that got past the outstretched arms of Sandberg or Webb was fielded by junior libero Connie Dangerfield, who picked up 13 digs on the night. Salvo also picked up 13 for the U.

“I was impressed with Utah Valley in games two and three,” Launiere said. “We executed at a very high level in game one and they didn’t just turn in. They kept competing and I was impressed with that.”