Utah Volleyball Splits Los Angeles Weekend Against Pac-12 Rivals


Xiangyao Tang

The University of Utah Women’s Volleyball takes on the BYU Cougars at the Jon. M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sept. 15 2022. (Photo by Xiangyao “Axe” Tang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Max Lepore, Sports Writer


The University of Utah volleyball team traveled to Los Angeles this past weekend to take on Pac-12 Rivals UCLA and USC on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Here’s how the team competed:


To begin the weekend, Utah competed in their first set against UCLA. The Utes worked hard to earn a 12-7 lead early on in the set. They continued to build on it to eventually earn a 20-14 lead. However, the Bruins then countered with six straight points to tie up the set at 20 apiece. Utah then went on a 4-1 run to go up 24-21. A 2-0 run from the Bruins tightened the matchup, but fifth-year senior Madelyn Robinson earned her 4th kill of the set and was able to give Utah the 25-23 victory.

Following their first set victory, Utah built a 13-5 lead early in set two. The team eventually built the lead to 22-12 and turned it into a 25-18 victory to take a commanding 2-0 match lead over the Bruins. Sophomore Lauren Jardine and junior Vanessa Ramirez both had an impressive set for the Utes.

The Bruins were determined to not get swept and went on a 7-0 run in the middle of the third set to take a 19-12 lead. They did not look back as they went on to eventually earn a 25-14 victory to tighten up Utah’s lead to 2-1.

Hoping to finish off their conference rival, the Utes built up a 10-4 lead early in the fourth set. A 5-1 run midway through the set gave the team a 15-7 lead which they continued to build upon en route to an eventual 23-18 lead. UCLA continued to fight hard, but Robinson earned 2 kills to finally give Utah the 25-19 victory for both the set and the match. The final score for the match was 3-1 in favor of the Utes.


Following their Friday night victory, the Utes prepared to face USC to close out their Los Angeles trip.

To start off the first set, the USC Trojans managed to build a 12-6 lead after a 4-0 run. Utah fought back hard to tighten the lead to just two points, but the Trojans then went on a 4-1 run to take a 20-15 lead. It was eventually too much to overcome for the Utes, and despite Robinson’s impressive 6 kills, the Trojans finished the set on a 4-1 run to take a 25-19 victory and a 1-0 match lead.

Utah came back firing in the second set and went on a 4-1 run to earn a 17-13 lead over USC. However, the Trojans eventually went on a 5-1 run to tighten the Utes’ lead to just 21-20. Jardine helped push the Utes to 23-20, which was concluded by a USC attack error and Robinson’s 8th kill of the set to give the Utes a 25-21 victory and tie the match at 1 apiece.

The Utes struggled to replicate their second-set performance, as USC went on an 8-1 run to take a commanding 23-14 lead over the Utes late in the set. Utah managed to score a few points, but a dominant 25-17 USC lead meant the Utes were now down 2-1 in the match.

The fourth set was very competitive as both teams struggled to build strong leads. Utah went on a 5-0 run midway through the set to take a 12-9 lead, and Robinson helped protect that lead to push the score to 15-12. The Trojans then took control with a 5-1 run that left the Utes behind at a score of 17-16. The two Pac-12 rivals continued to go back and forth until USC had a 20-19 lead late in the match which continued into a 4-0 run that gave the Trojans a 23-19 lead.

Star freshman KJ Burgess earned her 6th kill of the match followed by a kill by junior Allie Olsen to tighten the score to a 23-21 Trojan lead. However, USC called a timeout and found their groove, going on a 2-0 run to win the fourth set, and the match, at a score of 25-21. USC won the match with a final score of 3-1, just as the Utes beat the Bruins two nights before.

The Utes will be back in action next week, hosting rival California on Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. MDT, followed by a strong test against No. 9 Stanford on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 4 p.m. MDT.


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