Utah Volleyball Splits Bay Area Trip


Julia Chuang

The University of Utah women’s volleyball team takes on the USC Trojans at the Jon. M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Oct. 28 2022. (Photo by Julia Chuang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Max Lepore, Sports Writer


The University of Utah volleyball team competed against conference rivals Stanford and Cal in the Bay Area this past weekend on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Nearing the end of the season, the Utes look to finish strong in conference play.


To kick off the set against the Cardinal, the Utes found themselves down big early with a deficit of 19-12. The Utes later went on a 7-1 run to tighten the lead to 22-20. However, Utah’s run was not enough to stop the Cardinal, as they went on a 3-2 run to finish off the set and take a 25-22 victory. Lauren Jardine helped lead the Utes to the near comeback with 6 kills.

The Utes fought hard in the second set, tying it up 10-10 midway through. Stanford went on a nice little run to tie up the 15-12 run. After some back and forth, the Cardinal went on a dominant 9-0 run to take the easy victory 25-15 over the Utes to take a 2-0 set lead in the match.

The third set was better news for the Utes, as they took a 14-11 lead midway through. The Utes and Cardinal kept fighting in a close set, eventually leading to an 18-16 Utah lead. The Utes then gave up a 3-0 run to Stanford, finding themselves losing with a score of 19-18. The Utes then found themselves losing 21-20, but Megan Yett and Madelyn Robinson were able to push the Utes ahead to a 22-21 lead. KJ Burgess and Ashley West then both earned blocks to get the Utes to a set point at 24-21. Burgess earned a kill to give the Utes their victory point, cutting Stanford’s match lead to 2-1.

After the Utes’ clutch performance in an elimination set, the Cardinal dominated the fourth set. An early 10-3 lead continued to blossom until Stanford won the set with a final score of 25-11, winning the match with a score of 3-1 over the Utes.


Hoping to rebound from Friday’s loss to Stanford, the Utes found themselves down 15-12 to the Bears in the first set. Cal continued to build their lead, taking an 8-point 20-12 lead over Utah. A 5-5 run saw the Golden Bears winning the first set 25-17 in a dominating fashion over the Utes.

The Bears continued to outplay the Utes, taking a 12-6 lead early in the second set. Cal put together a 4-1 later in the set to take a 17-10 lead. Burgess and Abby Karich did their best to help Utah come back, but a late 5-1 run from the Bears saw them winning the set 25-16.

Facing elimination and a sweep, the Utes opened up the third set with an 11-2 run. They were later leading 19-12 when Emily Smith earned the team 2 aces to eventually take the set with a final score of 25-15, giving the Utes their first victory of the set.

Once again facing elimination, the Utes saw themselves down 10-8 to Cal early in the fourth set. The Utes were able to step it up and go on a 4-0 run to take a 17-11 lead. The Utes then pushed their lead to 19-14 and were able to put together a 6-0 run to take the victory in the fourth set 25-14, tying up the match at 2-2.

The momentum that the Utes built up from their comeback continued into the fifth set as they went on an 8-0 run early on. The score tightened up a bit to 8-4, but the Utes went on a 7-1 run, taking a dominant set over Cal with a final score of 15-5. 

Utah had maybe their best moment of the season this past weekend. After losing to the nationally ranked Stanford, they found themselves down 2 sets to 0 against another conference rival, in risk of losing two key matches in a weekend. With their backs against the wall, the Utes proved they were a strong team that never folds under pressure. They worked hard to come back and win three sets in a row to take the match victory. The defining moment of the season will give the Utes momentum going into their last few weeks, something that cannot be taken for granted.

After their eventful weekend, the Utes return home for their final home weekend of the season. They will compete against Pacific-northwest rivals Oregon State and Oregon on Thursday and Sunday, respectively. They will recognize seniors Robinson, Yett and Smith at the Oregon match.


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