Utah Volleyball On Both Sides of Sweeps Against Southern Californian 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


Utah Volleyball competed against rivals No. 24 USC and UCLA this past weekend on Friday and Sunday respectively. Here’s how the two matches played out:


To kick off the weekend against the nationally ranked Trojans, the Utes competed in a tight opening set. The Utes eventually were able to pull away from USC, taking a 17-13 lead later in the set. However, the Trojans called a timeout and managed to go on a 4-0 run to tie up the set at 17 a piece. Utah’s Madelyn Robinson then stepped up to help the Utes begin a 4-0 run to build a 21-17 lead. The Trojans did not give up, going on a 4-1 run to tighten the Utah lead to just 22-21. The Utes were then able to earn 3 kills to win the set at 25-22, taking a 1-0 set lead in the match.

To kick off the second set, the Trojans developed a 16-9 lead after a 5-1 run over the Utes. Utah did not give up though, and kept fighting to eventually tighten USC’s lead to 21-18. Utah then completely clamped down, and KJ Burgess and Robinson led the team on a 6-1 run to take a 24-22 lead over the Trojans. USC responded with a 2-0 run, and the two teams went back and forth until eventually Allie Olsen and Lauren Jardine gave the Utes the 27-25 set victory.

The Utes were able to play stronger to begin the third set to lead them to a 16-10 lead midway through. USC then put together a 7-1 run though to tie up the set at 17 apiece. The Utes then stepped it up, with Megan Yett earning an ace and leading the Utes to match point at a score of 24-19 over the Trojans. USC went on a 3-0 run to not give up, but Robinson got a kill to win the set and the match at a final score of 25-22. A sweep against a nationally ranked conference rival is no small feat, and the Utes looked to continue the momentum going into their battle with UCLA.


To start off their match against the Bruins, the Utes found themselves down 11-10 early on. UCLA eventually went on a 5-0 run to build an 18-13 lead, which the Utes responded with a 4-1 run of their own to tighten the score to 19-17. The lead eventually was built to 21-18 for the Bruins, and they went on a 4-0 run to win the first set against the Utes.

The Utes again found themselves down to the Bruins with a 14-10 score midway through the second set. Some back and forth between the two teams led to a 19-14 lead for the Bruins. Utah did not give up easily, but ultimately UCLA’s lead was too much and they ended up earning the victory for the set with a final score of 25-18.

The third set was very close for the two teams, and the Utes, with the help of Jardine and Burgess, were able to build a 15-10 lead midway through the set. UCLA then went on a 5-1 run to tighten Utah’s lead to just 16-15. The rest of the set was extremely tight, and Jardine eventually earned a kill to give the Utes set point at 24-23. However, the Bruins responded with a 2-0 run to earn match point, and out of a Utes’ timeout they finished the match to win 26-24 and to win the match with a full sweep of the Utes.

The Utes will compete next in Northern California next weekend against rivals Stanford and California on Friday and Sunday respectively.


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