No. 18 Utah Volleyball Takes on Washington Teams at Home


University of Utah head coach Beth Launiere talks with the Utes during a timeout in an NCAA Volleyball match vs. the UCLA Bruins at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Mallory Arnold, Sports Writer

The No 18. University of Utah volleyball team (13-6, 5-3 Pac-12) will be back home this weekend in the Huntsman Center to take on No. 9 Washington (15-3, 6-2 Pac-12) and No. 24 Washington State (17-4, 6-3 Pac-12).

After two hard-fought losses this past weekend to No. 2 Stanford and No. 15 Cal, the Utes are ready for the other two ranked schools in the Pac-12. The Utes are currently (13-6, 5-3 Pac-12) and ranked fifth in the Pac-12.

Last weekend, the Utes went five sets with both Cal and Stanford, where Stanford barely edged over Utah in the fifth set in extra points. Cal is ranked first in Pac-12 after this past weekend win,while Stanford is second. Utah’s next opponent is Washington, who comes in third and Washington State in fourth.

For their first match this weekend, the Utes will take on the Washington Huskies, who upset No. 2 Stanford earlier this season for their only loss in Pac-12 play. Earlier this season, Washington lost to USC 1-3, but the Utes beat the Trojans in five games. The competition with the Huskies will be the “Power in Pink” match to raise awareness for breast cancer awareness month, which will start at 7 p.m. on Oct. 25. Admission is free for fans who wear pink.

In the 2018 season, the Utes were able to take both matches from the Huskies winning 3-1 in Seattle, and completing the sweep 3-0 back home in Salt Lake later in the season. Dani Drews had points all across the board in the latter match with 15 kills, 2 blocks and 2 aces. Although last year the Husky team was young, they seem to have found their rhythm this season. This match will be one to watch, and even the NCAA is calling this game one of the top college matches to watch in week nine.

The Utes’s next match will be on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 1 p.m. to take on the Washington State Cougars. Washington State is also 5-3 in Pac-12 play, they have been beaten by ASU, UCLA and Cal — two of the teams the Utes were able to beat, which increases probabilities for a Utah win.

But looking back to last year’s matches, the Utes fell to the Cougars on both occasions. The first match, in Pullman in September 2018, went five sets. The Utes had more points, kills and a higher hitting percentage, but they couldn’t complete the win. The second match that took place in Salt Lake in October saw a Cougar sweep of the Utes. In the second game, Kenzie Koerber had 12 kills, while Drews tabbed only 11.

Both games this weekend will be available to watch, the first against Washington on Pac-12 networks and the second against Washington State will be on the Utah live stream.


[email protected]