Utah Volleyball Splits Games in Pac-12 Play Against Cal and Stanford


Jack Gambassi

U volleyball players during the game against Stanford on March 5, 2021 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on campus. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Max Lepore, Sports Writer


University of Utah volleyball played conference rivals California and Stanford at the Huntsman Center this past weekend on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Here’s how the Utes fared against their Pac-12 opponents:


To begin the first set against the Golden Bears, Utah earned a 7-3 lead early on. However, strong play from Cal tied up the score at 12 midway through the set. Freshman KJ Burgess and fifth-year senior Madelyn Robinson then earned kills to help lead Utah to a 16-15 lead over Cal. Junior Allie Olsen then earned multiple kills and a block to help lead the Utes to a 22-20 lead. Sophomore Lauren Jardine then came alive for the Utes, with 3 kills that made up the last 3 points the Utes needed to win the set at a final score of 25-22.

Utah came out firing in the second set, building an 18-8 lead with solid play all around. After a light Cal run, Utah finished off the set with a 7-2 run, and Robinson helped lead them with 4 kills total in the set with a final score of 25-13, giving the Utes a 2-0 match lead in the match.

The Utes gained another early advantage in the third set with a 7-2 lead early on, but a 5-0 run from Cal tied up the score at 7. Olsen then helped to lead a 9-0 run for the Utes, to eventually build an 18-9 lead. Cal then worked hard to cut into Utah’s lead, but with a 24-17 lead for the Utes, the match looked close to being over. A 3-0 run from the Golden Bears may have made the Utes nervous, but redshirt sophomore Abby Karich ended both the set and the match with a final kill to give the Utes the 25-20 victory in set 3, sweeping the rival Cal in a successful Friday night.


After the sweep on Friday night, the Utes geared up to face No. 8 Stanford Cardinals.

The first set was very close to begin. Midway through the match, the Cardinals led 18-15 as the Utes were hoping to build a lead over them. Junior Amelia Van Der Werff, senior Emily Smith, Robinson and Olsen all helped the Utes on a 4-1 run to tie up the set 19-19. However, Stanford then went on their own run, a 5-1 score that led to set point at 24-20. Utah was able to piece together 2 points in a row, but a final point from Stanford finished the set at 25-22, giving the Cardinals a 1-0 match lead over the Utes.

The second set also began extremely close, as the game was tied at 14 a piece midway through. Stanford then was able to go on a 7-4 run to take a 21-18 lead over the Utes. Burgess earned a sideout to try to help her team, but ultimately Stanford finished off the set and won with a final score of 25-22, giving them a 2-0 match lead.

Facing a sweep, Utah found themselves with a 12-8 deficit against the Cardinals midway through the third set. Stanford continued to overpower the Utes, taking a 20-15 lead later in the set. Utah tried their best to catch up, but a final score of 25-20 ended the Utes’ night, giving Stanford the sweep for the match.

The Utah Volleyball team will continue their home stand as both Washington and Washington State will come to town next weekend. The Washington game will be on Friday, Oct. 14 while the Washington State game will be on Sunday Oct. 16, with both games taking place at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.


[email protected]