Utah Volleyball Falls to Competitive Northern California Schools

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Utah Volleyball Falls to Competitive Northern California Schools

University of Utah freshman middle blocker Kennedi Evans (10) congratulates sophomore outside hitter Lauren Sproule (18) and sophomore outside hitter Dani Drews (1) in an NCAA Volleyball match vs. UVU at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah freshman middle blocker Kennedi Evans (10) congratulates sophomore outside hitter Lauren Sproule (18) and sophomore outside hitter Dani Drews (1) in an NCAA Volleyball match vs. UVU at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah freshman middle blocker Kennedi Evans (10) congratulates sophomore outside hitter Lauren Sproule (18) and sophomore outside hitter Dani Drews (1) in an NCAA Volleyball match vs. UVU at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah freshman middle blocker Kennedi Evans (10) congratulates sophomore outside hitter Lauren Sproule (18) and sophomore outside hitter Dani Drews (1) in an NCAA Volleyball match vs. UVU at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Mallory Arnold

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No. 18 University of Utah volleyball was in Northern California this weekend to take on No. 15 Cal and No. 2 Stanford. The team went five sets with both big competitors, but wasn’t able to pull off a win. This makes their record to 13-6 overall and 5-3 in conference. 

Last weekend, the Utes took on UCLA and USC and beat both teams, sweeping UCLA and then winning a five set battle with USC. NCAA.com ranked this match against Cal as one of the top three college volleyball matches to watch last week in the nation. Last year, Cal was able to take both matches from the Utes, the first in five sets and the second in four. 

On Friday the Utes headed to Berkeley to take on Cal in Haas Pavilion, where they battled all night for the Pac-12 first place title, but fell to the Bears (26-28, 25-15, 15-25, 25-21, 6-15) in five sets. Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres finished the match with 52 assists and 6 digs. Berkeley Oblad was one of two Utes posting double-figure kills, with 11, hitting .308 on the night. Brianna Doehrmann led the team with 20 digs. 

In this match with two highly ranked teams, both came out ready to play in a pretty even first set. Utah started the match hot, as Megan Yett got two service aces in the first 3 points and Drews was simply on fire. She finished the opening frame with 9 kills, hitting .444.

Drews kept Utah in it all night, finishing the match with 25 kills, hitting .306, 12 digs and 5 service aces. The junior outside hitter reached a career milestone in the match as she got her 1,000th career kill with her 24th kill of the night. She is the 17th player in program history to reach 1,000-career kills.

Yett, Kenzie Koerber and Zoe Weatherington ended the night with 6 kills each.

For their next match, the Utes headed to Stanford to take on the No. 2. ranked Cardinal, who earned both last year’s Pac-12 Championship and the NCAA championship. Earlier in the seas, in Stanford lost to BYU, who the Utes went five sets with and didn’t pull out the win either. 

The teams played in Maples Pavilion on Sunday, Oct. 20, but the Cardinal edged the Utes in five sets (17-25, 25-20, 26-24, 18-25, 16-17). Drews led the team with 21 kills and 14 digs, while Doehrmann was all over the court and finished with 25 digs, matching her season high.

This was a hard fought battle of five sets between the two teams, and the Utes had two cracks at the match. They led 14-12 in the fifth, and Stanford held them off to force extra points. Once the Cardinal got it to extra points, they had a match point spoiled by Utah before taking the match with a 17-15 win in the fifth.

The Utes will be back home in the Jon M. Huntsman Arena Friday, Oct. 25 vs. Washington at 7 p.m., and then Sun, Oct. 27 vs. Washington State at 1 p.m. The first game with be on the Pac-12 Networks, while the second will be broadcasted on the Utah Live Stream.

 

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