Volleyball: Utes Headed to Washington

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Volleyball: Utes Headed to Washington

University of Utah Volleyball freshman outside hitter Dani Barton (1) and junior middle blocker Berkeley Oblad (12) leap to block a spike in a set of matches vs. The Oregon Ducks at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, UT on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017

(Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah Volleyball freshman outside hitter Dani Barton (1) and junior middle blocker Berkeley Oblad (12) leap to block a spike in a set of matches vs. The Oregon Ducks at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, UT on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Kiffer Creveling

University of Utah Volleyball freshman outside hitter Dani Barton (1) and junior middle blocker Berkeley Oblad (12) leap to block a spike in a set of matches vs. The Oregon Ducks at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, UT on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Kiffer Creveling

Kiffer Creveling

University of Utah Volleyball freshman outside hitter Dani Barton (1) and junior middle blocker Berkeley Oblad (12) leap to block a spike in a set of matches vs. The Oregon Ducks at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, UT on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Leilani Gastelum

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Utah volleyball is headed to Washington this weekend to take on No. 22 Washington State on Friday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m MT. and the No. 13 Washington Huskies on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 1 p.m. MT.

When Pac-12 play began, the Utes emphasized the importance of working on their defensive effort. Two matches into Pac-12 play, Utah continues to feel that the team’s defense needs to be improved in order to be successful in the Pac-12 matches this season.

Bailey Choy has led the Utes in assists, with a total of 485 assists so far this season. She believes that the team needs to focus on their defensive effort during practice leading up to this weekend’s matches.

“I definitely think we can focus on defense,” Choy said. “UCLA out hit us [at last week’s match] and I think we are really going to go hard on defense [during practice this week].”

The Utes are 8-5 overall and hold a 0-2 record in Pac-12 play so far, coming off a 2-3 loss against Colorado, and a 1-2 loss against UCLA.

Washington State is 9-3 overall and has a 0-2 record in Pac-12 play. Their first loss was a 2-3 loss against No. 13 Washington, and the second was a 2-3 loss against Oregon.

Washington is 10-2 overall and currently holds a record of 2-0 in Pac-12 play, with a 3-2 win against Washington State and a 3-2 win against Oregon State.

Constantly traveling, the Utes have to push through and make the most out of the next few days they’re here at home to practice and refuel for this upcoming weekend. Right after Friday’s match against UCLA, the Utes were back to practice on Saturday getting ready for the matches this weekend in Washington.

“It’s a quick turnaround, we are away and we just got back from Colorado. That’s what its like being in the Pac-12, we’re always on the go. I think we need to refresh this weekend. We start film tomorrow and we’ll have a light serve and pass. It all starts with tomorrow to prepare for next weekend,” Choy said after the UCLA match Friday night.

Both matches will have live video available provided by Pac-12 Networks. Links will be available at utahutes.com

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@LeilaniGastelum