No. 16 Utes End Weekend at Pepperdine Asics Classic

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No. 16 Utes End Weekend at Pepperdine Asics Classic

By Mallory Arnold

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The University of Utah volleyball was was in Malibu, California for the Pepperdine Asics Classic this weekend to take on Pepperdine, Cal Poly and No. 6 Pittsburgh. Going into the tournament the Utes were 7-0 but finished 8-2. 

For their first match, the Utes took on Pepperdine on their home court. Pepperdine took the first set 25-20. The Utes rallied back for the next three sets winning 22-25 for the second, 23-25 for the third, and 13-25 for the final match. This win brought their record to 8-0 on the season, and the team was hopeful going into their next matches.

On Friday, Berkeley Oblad hit a career milestone, picking up her 400th career block. She is only the 13th player in program history to reach that mark. In the same game, Dani Drews scored 18 kills with Kenzie Koerber and Zoe Weatherington both scoring nine. Oblad scored five blocks to reach this goal and Phoebe Grace scored her season high of 10 blocks.

For their next match, the Utes had a challenge with the No. 6 ranked Pittsburgh team. Pittsburgh won the first match 22-25, but the Utes came back strong winning the second match 25-23. When the third match came around, it was a battle between the two teams, but the Utes lost 23-25. In the final set, the Utes fell to the Panthers 21-25. This was their first loss of the season, moving the team record to 8-1.

Although the Utes lost, there were some big players for the team, with Drews scoring 18 blocks again. Weatherington pitched in with 10 kills, hitting .217. Brianna Doehrmann had 19 digs, leading the defensive effort. 

Utah’s third and final match came where they took on Cal Poly, who they had played previously in the Utah Classic. They beat them in five sets the first time around in Salt Lake City. This time around, they went set for set again. They fell to Cal Poly in the first match, scoring 19-25. For the second match the Utes came out on top, winning 25-17. In the next match, they lost to the Mustangs 25-18. In the fourth set, the Mustangs got a lead early and ultimately beat the Utes 14-25. The final set was a hard-fought battle, but the Utes couldn’t come out on top, losing 16-18. Drews led the team with 26 kills, hitting .286. She also had seven digs, three aces and three blocks. This was her season high of kills.

Oblad had 13 kills and eight blocks, while Koerber had eight kills and four blocks and one ace.

The No. 16 Utes ended the weekend at 8-2 after losing to two tough competitors. The team fought hard and is looking forward to this week’s matches.

On Thursday Sept. 19 the Utes will take on in state rival BYU at home, who is ranked No. 13. The game will take place in the Jon M. Huntsman Center, with the first match starting at 6 p.m.

 

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