Utah Volleyball Advances to Second Round of NCAA Tournament


Xiangyao Tang

University of Utah outside hitter, Dani Drews (#1), plays in a game against University of Arizona in Jon M. Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, on Oct. 24, 2021. (Photo by Xiangyao “Axe” Tang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Emily Dush, Sports Writer


The Utah Women’s volleyball team started play in the NCAA tournament Friday night against Utah Valley University in the first round of the Provo Regional. This is Utah’s sixth straight bid into the tournament and 19th appearance overall. 

In the first set, Utah Valley started up by a few points until the Utes went on an 8-1 run which led them to be up 11-6 in the set. The Wolverines did not back down as they fought their way to tie the set at 11-11. The Utes managed to take the lead again. Up 17-13, the Utes dominated the rest of the way to take the first set 25-16 over the Wolverines. 

The Wolverines came out with fire as they set their tone in the second set. Both teams were fighting. The score was 14-14 as the Wolverines took the lead to go up 19-16. The Utes came back to win the next three points but Utah Valley managed to close out the set 25-22 and tie up the set score 1-1. 

In the third set, the Utes managed to get up 11-7 which pushed Utah Valley to take a timeout. The Wolverines started to come back but the Utes kept the lead at 14-10. The pressure was on as the Wolverines were trying to keep up with the Utes. However, Dani Drews and Madelyn Robinson both had kills which helped the Utes maintain their dominance and eventually win the set 25-19. 

The Utes had total control over Utah Valley in the fourth set. The Utes built a lead of 9-2 and they kept their momentum going as the Wolverines seemed to get tired as they were not able to keep up with the Utes. The Utes eventually won the set 25-11. During the final set Utah had a hitting percentage of .450 hitting clip. 

Throughout the night, Drews had 18 kills, 12 digs, three blocks, and three aces. Robinson had a total of 13 kills and Amelia Van Der Werff had a total of 10 kills. Vanessa Ramirez had a career high of four aces throughout the match as well as 10 digs. Zoe Weatherington had a solid night with eight kills and five blocks. 

The Utes will face No. 11 BYU in the second round of the NCAA Tournament tomorrow night at 7 p.m. in Provo. Live streaming will be available through ESPN+.


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