No. 16 Utah Volleyball to Take on Tough Southern California Schools

The+University+of+Utah+Volleyball+team+plays+against+Arizona+State+University+in+the+Huntsman+Center%2C+University+of+Utah+Campus%2C+Salt+Lake+City%2C+UT+on+Friday%2C+November+1st%2C+2019.+%28Photo+by+Mark+Draper+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29
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No. 16 Utah Volleyball to Take on Tough Southern California Schools

The University of Utah Volleyball team plays against Arizona State University in the Huntsman Center, University of Utah Campus, Salt Lake City, UT on Friday, November 1st, 2019. (Photo by Mark Draper | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

The University of Utah Volleyball team plays against Arizona State University in the Huntsman Center, University of Utah Campus, Salt Lake City, UT on Friday, November 1st, 2019. (Photo by Mark Draper | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

The University of Utah Volleyball team plays against Arizona State University in the Huntsman Center, University of Utah Campus, Salt Lake City, UT on Friday, November 1st, 2019. (Photo by Mark Draper | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

The University of Utah Volleyball team plays against Arizona State University in the Huntsman Center, University of Utah Campus, Salt Lake City, UT on Friday, November 1st, 2019. (Photo by Mark Draper | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Mallory Arnold

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The No. 16 University of Utah volleyball team will head to Los Angeles, California to take on both USC and No. 23 UCLA. The first game will be played Thursday at 8 p.m. and the next on Saturday at 6 p.m. The Utes are currently 16-7, 8-4 Pac-12.

Last weekend, the Utes were home in the Jon M. Huntsman Center to take on both Arizona schools in ASU and Arizona. The Utes came out victorious in both five-set battles.

After last week’s performance Kenzie Koerber was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the week. This is the first time she has received this specific honor but has been named the Pac-12 offensive player of the week earlier this season.

For their first match Utah will take on the Trojans (13-9, 7-5 Pac-12) in the Galen Center. USC was another team who was able to pull off the upset against Washington, twice. The team also beat California and Oregon, who the Utes weren’t able to beat. The teams faced earlier in the 2019 season in the Jon M. Huntsman Center where they had a five set battle, and the Utes came out on top. USC took the first two sets but Utah answered back, taking the next three to win the match. USC lost a match in which it won the first two sets for the first time since Dec. 14, 2013. For the Utes, four players reached double-digit kills led by Koerber who had 18, Dani Drews with 17, Berkeley Oblad tabbed 12 and Zoe Weatherington, who finished it off with 10. Brianna Doehermann led the defense with 23 digs.

NCAA.com is calling the next match against UCLA the top match in college volleyball to watch this weekend. This match is a must-win for both teams, as Utah and UCLA have been upsetting some big teams in the Pac-12. Both are also 8-4 in Pac-12 play, so this should be a great, even match. Three other teams in the Pac are also 8-4 – Cal, Washington State and Washington.

UCLA and Utah faced earlier this season on a night of celebration for head coach Beth Launiere’s 30th season, where the Utes swept the Bruins. It was a special night in the Huntsman as Kim Turner’s jersey was retired and plenty of alumni were in attendance.

Utah hit .346 on the match. In this last match against the Bruins, Drews led the team with 17 kills, Koerber was just behind her with 14, Weatherington tabbed 10, and Oblad got 5. The Utes got an early lead in both the first two sets that UCLA just couldn’t get back. UCLA has been on a hot streak lately since their loss to Utah. They swept Stanford and went four sets with California — both teams the Utes weren’t able to beat. The game will take place in the John Wooden Center.

Both games will be live streamed on each team’s individual websites.

 

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