Perfect

By By Cody Brunner

By Cody Brunner

The No. 9 U volleyball team has now accomplished something that only one other team in conference history has accomplished–going undefeated throughout its Mountain West Conference schedule.

With wins over Air Force and Colorado State on consecutive nights, the Utes kept their conference record flawless at 16-0. Colorado State is the only other team in conference history to duplicate the feat, as it accomplished the mark in 2003.

But the milestone was not the only Utah record broken on Saturday night. Utah libero Connie Dangerfield also chalked up her coveted 1,000th dig against the Rams. Dangerfield is in just her junior year, but has already moved into sixth place in the all-time Utah record books with 1,011 digs.

“It’s exciting to know that I hit that milestone,” Dangerfield said. “It’s just really cool to break a barrier like that and know that only five other people have done it. But if it wasn’t for my team, I know I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish that.”

Utah started the weekend at the Air Force Academy and pretty well had its way with the Falcons, downing them in three games by scores of 30-19, 30-17 and 30-22.

U outside-hitter Airial Salvo led the team with 18 kills and middle-blocker Lori Baird pitched in 10. Baird also got it done on defense, blocking five total shots in the winning effort. Dangerfield led the Utes from the back row with 17 digs.

“I was extremely pleased with our defensive effort tonight,” said U head coach Beth Launiere. “We’ve been working hard on being disciplined and I felt like we were tonight. I also thought that we went out there and executed well.”

On Saturday night, the Utes continued their Mountain West dominance against Colorado State, finishing off the Rams in four games.

Three of the four games saw Colorado State take late leads, but the perseverance of the Utes proved to be too much for their adversaries in the end and the Utes were able to come back.

The Rams held a 28-27 lead late in the first game, but Utah outside-hitter Whitney Webb didn’t let them get any closer to victory, knocking down a kill and leading the Utes to a 30-28 victory.

Colorado State took another 28-27 lead late in the second game, but this time the Rams were able to finish, scoring two of the last three points to win, 30-28.

Utah didn’t even give the Rams a chance in the third game, taking a 15-9 lead early and never looking back, ultimately winning 30-21.

Colorado State controlled the fourth game throughout, taking a 17-12 lead behind strong outside play, but the Utes’ persistence showed through once again. Utah slowly fought its way back into the game and wouldn’t give up, despite trailing 30-29 late. The Utes scored the match’s last four points to win the game, 32-30.

Utah had four of its players record double-doubles in the 3-1 win. Webb led the Ute offense and defense with 18 kills and 10 digs while teammate Salvo bagged 14 kills and 10 digs. Sydney Anderson guided the Utah offense from her setter position with 50 assists and also snagged 13 digs. Middle-blocker Emillie Toone continued her dominance at the net, recording 14 blocks to go along with her 12 kills.

“I thought this turned into a great volleyball match,” Launiere said. “It was a heavyweight battle with a lot of big swings, big blocks and big digs. We worked as hard as we have all season to get this win and I am proud to see this team battle a CSU squad that had so many reasons to win tonight.”

Lennie Mahler

Connie Dangerfield finds a dig against Wyoming earlier in the season. Dangerfield picked up her 1,000th career dig this weekend as the Utes added Air Force and Colorado State to their list of victims with two season-ending matches in Colorado.