No. 18 Utes Drop Competitive Match Against No. 12 BYU


By Adam Cochran, Sports Writer

The No. 18 University of Utah Volleyball (8-3) team suffered a hard-fought loss to No. 12 BYU (8-2) at the John M. Huntsman Center Thursday night. In a match that saw the intensity only a rivalry game can provide, the Utes dropped the first two sets (25-22, 25-21) before taking the third (25-12), then dropping the fourth (25-18), but the match was more competitive than the sets would have one believe.

The first two sets were seesaw affairs, with teams going back and forth before BYU pulled away in each of the sets. The third set had a completely different flow to it, as Utah responded to the first two sets and came out fired up, ready to play. They jumped out to an early 9-2 lead, and each time BYU would string a few points together the Utes would respond with a run of their own, keeping BYU at a distance throughout the set.

Between the second and third set head coach Beth Launiere gave her team some much-needed motivation. “I just talked to them about having some courage and just going for it. That’s what they did and it worked.”

The fourth set turned in BYU’s favor as they responded to Utah’s dominance of the third set. The Utes fought hard, but after they fell behind they couldn’t claw their way back into the set.


Despite the Loss, the Utes Impressed

“It was a battle, and I think either team could have won tonight. We fought, we battled and I was really proud of our effort,” Launiere said. “We just talked about how we need to keep working and just have that mental composure from start to finish. The last three matches we’ve battled hard, and I’m really proud of our team, but unfortunately we’ve come out on the short end, but not by much. When we get a few more things figured out I think we are going to be really good.”

The Utes had three players with double digit kills. Dani Drews lead the Utes with 21, Kenzie Koerber added 14 kills and three blocks. Freshman Zoe Weatherington continued her impressive first season adding 13 kills and hitting at an impressive .455 clip. Brianna Doehrmann was an anchor on the Ute back line, recording a season-high 25 digs. Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres provided 49 assists for her teammates, a career high for the sophomore setter.


Up Next

Utah closes non-conference play with a record of 8-3. The Utes will next be in action Wednesday, Sept. 25 as they welcome the Colorado Buffaloes to the Huntsman Center to open Pac-12 Conference play.


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