Bubba Brown , Staff Writer" />
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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Last home match a success for seniors

By Bubba Brown , Staff Writer

On Senior Day, two seniors led the volleyball team to a sweep (25-17, 25-18, 25-20) over Wyoming in Utah’s last home match of the season Saturday.

Outside hitter Cinthia Silva tied for the match-high with nine kills, and middle blocker Chelsey Sandberg collected six kills and six blocks in their final match at Crimson Court.

“I was happy for Chelsey and Cinthia,” said head coach Beth Launiere. “They both played really well. It’s always good when it matters to seniors. It’s a big day for them, knowing that they’ll never have this opportunity again. The team played really well. We executed pretty consistently throughout the course of the match and that’s what we’ve been working at doing all season. I feel that in the second half of the Colorado State match and through this one, we have executed at a pretty high level.”

The Utes started hot, taking the first two points of the match with a service ace by setter Stephanie Neeley and a kill by Sandberg. After 11 ties, a kill by middle blocker Danielle Killpack gave the Utes the lead. Utah closed the set out with a 9-1 run.

The Utes once again leaped to a 2-0 lead with a kill by outside hitter Sarah Hibbert and a service ace by Silva, to start the second set. With a 6-4 lead, Utah scored six unanswered points with the two seniors, Silva and Sandberg, coming up with a kill and block. The Utes would build a lead of up to 10 points before taking the second set 25-18.

“We were just really aggressive at the net and executed well,” Launiere said. “Jennifer (Lanting) has been blocking a lot more over the last three weeks. We’ve been working on it all season long, and it’s finally starting to pay off.”

Utah scored the first four points of the third set with the help of two blocks by Sandberg and a kill by Silva. The Utes extended their lead to nine at 13-4, but a 5-0 run by Wyoming pulled them within two points. However, a kill by outside hitter Lanting, a service ace by Neeley and a kill by Hibbert finished off the set and the Cowgirls.

For the match, Utah held Wyoming to a .028 hitting percentage, the lowest mark the Utes have held an opponent this season. Utah came up with a .231 hitting percentage for the match.

Although Utah’s hope of repeating as conference champions has been dashed, the Utes still have something to play for.

“We have two more conference matches left,” Launiere said. “We have third place (in the Mountain West Conference) in our control if we can go win those matches.”

The Utes will now square off against San Diego State on Thursday and Air Force on Saturday, before heading to Long Beach State.

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Tyler Cobb/The Daily Utah Chronicle

Senior outside hitter Cinthia Silva had nine kills in a Senior Day sweep of Wyoming. With the home schedule finished, the Utes will try to hold onto third place in the MWC as they play SDSU and Air Force.

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