Not in our house

By By Cody Brunner

By Cody Brunner

The No. 9 U volleyball team’s last home match of the regular season was no different from their first, or any other for that matter.

The Utes spread out their offense and used stingy back-row defense to pick up their 12th home win of the season, beating Mountain West-rival Wyoming, 3-1.

“A lot of teams this year, especially on rimson Court, all we had to do was put a couple of runs together and they would go away,” U coach Beth Launiere said. “We knew that wouldn’t be the case with Wyoming though. They had a sustained effort throughout and their coach has been doing a great job, especially late in the season.”

Five different Utes tallied more than 13 kills for the home team to help them remain undefeated in conference play and push their consecutive win streak to 21 matches.

Wyoming (11-14, 5-9 MWC) did do something that no other team has done on Crimson Court this year though, which was winning a single game on Utah’s home court.

The Cowgirls started the first game off hot, using the Utes’ block against them as they deflected ball after ball to take an 11-8 lead early. Utah fought its way back into the game behind a plethora of kills from sophomore outside-hitter Airial Salvo and tied the game at 24. But Wyoming regained its lead late in the game on a pair of kills from outside-hitter Rachel Smith and won the first game, 30-28.

Utah didn’t let Wyoming bask in the win too long though, jumping out to a 12-9 lead early in the second game and never looking back, ultimately winning 30-24. The Utes were buoyed in the frame by a five-kill performance from outside-hitter Whitney Webb.

Wyoming fought back in the third game, opening up a 10-7 lead behind multiple Smith kills. But the Utes proved to be too much for their Mountain West adversaries once again, piecing together a 13-4 run behind the right hand of middle-blocker Emillie Toone and running away with the game, winning 30-22.

The Utes kept up their superb play early in the fourth, and with a Kathryn Lovell kill, took an 8-5 lead. Wyoming wouldn’t go quietly though, putting together point after point to tie the game at 22. Wyoming continued its rally to take a 26-24 lead, but the Utes worked their way back into the game, tying it at 27, then taking a 29-27 lead. The home team had difficulty closing the match, committing several serving errors to give the Cowgirls a 31-30 lead. But the Utes weren’t going to be denied, fighting back in extra points until they finally ended the game on a Lovell kill, winning 35-33.

Salvo and Toone led the diverse U offensive attack, scoring 17 kills apiece in the victory. Webb, Lovell and middle-blocker Lori Baird also had a solid match for Utah, picking up 15, 15 and 13 kills, respectively.

Spreading out the attack for Utah was freshman setter Sydney Anderson, who set career-highs with 19 digs and 64 assists.

Toone continued her defensive dominance at the net for the Utes, blocking a total of eight balls. The junior remains the No. 1 blocker in the nation with a 1.90 block-per-game average. From the back row, Salvo led the team with 20 digs.

Utah will try to finish off its Mountain West schedule next weekend when the team travels to Colorado to take on Air Force and Colorado State on consecutive nights.