The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
Print Issues

Home Stretch — Episode 1: Utah Women’s Volleyball Current Season Recap

Sports Podcast Producer Stevie Shaughnessey sits down to talk about the Women’s Volleyball team Pac-12 play and their upcoming matches.
Mary Allen
(Design by Mary Allen | The Daily Utah Chronicle)


Stevie: Hi and welcome to the Daily Utah Chronicle sports podcast. My name is Stevie. I’ll be your host and today we’re talking about the University of Utah women’s volleyball team and their recent opening in Pac-12 conference play.

The women’s volleyball team started off their conference play playing Colorado and they went to Boulder this past Thursday, Sept. 21, to take on the Colorado Buffaloes in the conference opener for both teams. Utah started off cold during the game and fell into a 0-6 deficit in the first set. Five quick kills helped Utah take an 8-5 lead in set two but the Utes weren’t able to keep the momentum. Colorado pulled ahead 10-8 and after some back-and-forth action, the Buffaloes held on and took the second set as well. Colorado took another quick lead in set three with an 11-2 run. With their backs against the wall, Utah fought back. Three kills from Jardine helped Utah cut the deficit down to 13-16. The Utes eventually tied the set at 22, but Colorado was able to go up 25-24. Gibaldo extended the game with an amazing kill in a win-by-two situation, but both teams struggled to close out the set. Back-to-back kills from Olsen and Emrie Satuala eventually gave Utah a 30-28 win in the set to get the lead down 1-2. After falling behind 14-17 in set four, Colorado scored 11 of the next 13 to win the set and steal the victory.

The Utes then returned to the Huntsman Center on Sunday to face the California Golden Bears. Utah started off hot, winning both of the first two sets. Jardine recorded kills on three plays in a row to give Utah a lead and set one. She finished with six kills in the set and an impressive 17 total for the game. The Utes steadily built a lead and took set one by a 25-17 score. Cal jumped ahead in set two but the Utes steadily came back. Satuala’s kill on the final play of the set gave Utah a 25-23 set two win and a 2-0 lead in the game. Utah had their opportunities to close out the game in the third set, but were unable to. The Golden Bears won set four as well by a 25-17 score bringing the game to decisive set five. Utah jumped ahead 7-3 but a 5-0 run gave Cal a 13-12 lead. With the fifth set being a first to 15 rather than 25, the Utes rallied off three in a row to win the game 3-2.

Before conference play started, the Utes faced two in-state rivals. They traveled south to Provo to take on the 10th-ranked BYU Cougars on Sept. 13. BYU opened the first set with an 11-3 run that the Utes struggled to come back from. Kamry Bailey recorded two kills in four plays, but the Cougars’ lead was too much and they took the first set. BYU started strong on set two as well, jumping out to a 4-0 lead. Utah clawed back and slowly took control. A 6-1 run gave the Utes a 14-11 lead. Allie Olson, Rianne Vos and Lauren Jardine all got kills during this run. The two rivals went back and forth throughout the rest of the set. With the score knotted at 23, Vos came up clutch with her fourth kill of the set. Utah scored on the ensuing play to win the set 25-23. Unfortunately, that was the only set Utah could get off on the number 10 team in the nation. BYU won both of the following sets and won the game 3-1. The Utes came home after defeat to pick up a win against the Weber State Wildcats on Sept. 15.

Before starting their conference play and taking on BYU and Weber State, the Utah volleyball team also played at the Utah Classic where they took two of the three games. After falling 1-3 to the Portland State Vikings, during the Classic at the U, Utah swept out two of their three games during the tournament. The Utes started the week with a trip up to Oregon to play Portland State. Utah started the game well, jumping out to a 5-2 lead in the first set. They used a 5-0 run to extend the lead to 14-8, highlighted by back-to-back service aces from Viktoria Wahlgren. The Utes were able to keep the lead and win the first set 25-20. The second set went back and forth. After a 3-0 start for the Utes, the Vikings responded with four in a row to take the lead. Portland State rallied off five points in a row to win the second set. Despite another 3-0 start for the Utes, Portland State built up momentum and was quickly up to 19-15 in the third game and the Utes could not recover, losing the set 25-20. Kamryn Gibaldo and Allie Olson totaled nine kills during the set, and while they kept it close in the fourth Utah was unable to mount the comeback and Portland State took the fourth set 25-23 to finish with the win.

Utah returned home from Oregon to host the Utah Classic. They started the Friday doubleheader with a 3-0 sweep over the Tennessee State Tigers. The Utes and Tigers traded blows in the first set and Utah fell behind before going on a 10-2 run to take the 20-16 lead. Utah recorded five kills during this round with two of them from Olsen. This catapulted the Utes to a 25-20 win in the first set. Utah kept a small but steady lead in set two. Kamry Bailey recorded three kills in four plays to help Utah score six in a row and build a 20-14 lead, which was crucial in helping Utah win set two. After Tennessee State took a 6-4 lead in set three, the Utes went on a tear. Utah scored nine of the next 10 points to take the lead 13-7. The Utes held the lead the rest of the way and finished off the sweep with a 25-16 win in set three. Gibaldo tallied 10 kills in the game to lead the way for Utah. Olsen recorded nine kills on an incredible .692 hitting percentage as well.

The Utes played again on Friday night hosting the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in a back-and-forth affair. Utah got off to a hot start in set one, jumping out to a 7-1 lead. The Gauchos fought back and tied it up at 10 all, but Utah then went on an 11-2 run. This run was highlighted by five kills in a row from Gibaldo, Olsen and Bailey. Utah went on to win the set 25-19. After UCSB took the next two sets 25-22 and 25-17, they started set four with the same momentum on a 4-0 run. The Utes steadily fought back and took the lead 10-9 on an attack error. And from there, Utah didn’t look back. The Utes took the set  25-17 to force a decisive fifth set. Gibaldo recorded four kills in the set to help keep the Utes alive. Set five went down to the wire, but unfortunately, the Utes came up just short. The Gauchos won the set 22-20 on an attack error to win the game 3-2.

The Utes were back in action Saturday afternoon hosting the San Francisco Dons. A 7-1 run helped the Utes build up a lead at 13-8 and they kept it throughout. The Utes ended up winning the set 25-22. After a slow start in the second set, Utah tied it up 11 all on a kill from Lauren Jardine. The Utes jumped out to a 20-11 lead and went on to take the set 25-19. San Francisco took a 12-10 lead in set three, but Utah used another big run to jump ahead. They turned the deficit into an 18-13 lead. Bailey took over during this run with three kills. This helped the Utes win the set by a score of 25-17, completing their second 3-0 sweep of the weekend.

Right now, the Utes are 6-1 when leading the match or ties in blocks, and seven Utes have recorded at least one match of double-digit digs this season, while six Utes have had at least one match with double-digit kills. Starting libero Vanessa Ramirez is leading the Utah defense once again as she has done since day one in Salt Lake City. She is second in the Pac-12 with 3.91 digs per set and has recorded double-digit digs in all but one match this season. The Pasadena, California native recorded a season-high 24 digs in just four sets against Weber State for her second match of 20-plus digs this season. After this past weekend, she has now tailed 72 matches with double-digit digs as Utah’s starting libero. Last year, Ramirez led the team in digs in 27 of the 31 matches, while she finished third in the Pac-12 with 4.04 digs per set.

tarting middle blocker Allie Olsen is coming off a season where she recorded a .363 hitting percentage, which ranked as the sixth-best percentage in a single season in program history. Olsen’s also off to a hot start for her senior season as she has hit above .500 in more than half of the matches so far.  At the Utah Classic, she earned an All-Tournament Team honors after hitting a blazing .419 clip through three matches. Olsen recorded a season-high .692 hitting percentage against Tennessee State from nine kills and no errors while hitting .538 against San Francisco. Earlier in the week, Olsen recorded a career-high 12 kills at Portland State where she hit .556 to help the team, while the match before she recorded nine kills on .533 hitting. The senior from Great Falls, Montana is hitting .318 to start the 2023 season.

The Utes have strength in numbers and have “had countless student-athletes contribute to the team this season. Utah has had seven players reach double-digit digs in at least one match this season, while six Utes have recorded double-digit kills at one point in 2023. Lauren Jardine has led the team in kills in six matches, while Kamryn Gibadlo has done so in five outings. Overall, Utah has had 12 players see action in over half of the matches this season.

Wahlgren earned her first career double-double against UC Santa Barbara as she posted 44 assists and a career-high 15 digs. Wahlgren is coming off 44 assists against California with a team-high three aces. The Canadian setter for the Utes also leads the team with 14 aces. She has posted five matches with at least two aces this season.

This weekend, the Utes will head to California to face USC and UCLA. Utah opens the weekend against USC on Friday, September 29 at 8 p.m. MT. The Utes and Trojans will play on Pac-12 Mountain at the Galen Center. Then, the Utes head across town to Pauley Pavilion on Sunday, Oct. 1, to take on UCLA. The match will be live-streamed at 1 p.m. MT. Utah has won three of the last four matches against USC in the Galen Center. Against UCLA, Utah won last year’s road match and has won three of the last five road matches. So we’ll see how the Utes do this weekend, but it’s looking promising for the Utah women’s volleyball team. USC is currently on a streak with seven straight wins coming to the match against the Utes. The Trojans have picked up notable wins on the road at 17th-ranked Purdue and UCLA, while also recording a home win against San Diego. USC is led by the conference’s leader in kills per set, Skylar Fields. Fields is averaging 5.16 kills per set, which ranks third in the nation.

On the other hand, “UCLA heads into the weekend after dropping both of their opening PAC-12 matches against USC and number six-ranked Oregon. The Bruins picked up a non-conference win over Hawaii, Pepperdine and Long Beach State to highlight the schedule. UCLA has had four hitters averaging over two kills per set. The Bruins are also fourth in the conference with 2.62 blocks per set which ranks 25th nationally. In the last 10 meetings, Utah and UCLA are tied 5-5 with four of Utah’s wins coming on the road and we’ll see if Utah this weekend can make it a sixth win. Utah returns to the Huntsman Center to host Oregon State and Oregon next Friday, Oct. 6 and Sunday, Oct. 8. The Utes welcome Oregon State for Fairytale Friday with first serve at 7 p.m M.T. on the PAC-12 network. Utah closes out the weekend on Sunday for its Power in Pink match against Oregon at 12 p.m. M.T.

While the match will be live-streamed, make sure you show up and show out to support our Utah women’s volleyball team.

Thank you for listening to The Daily Utah Chronicle sports podcast and tune in to stay updated every Tuesday to get more updates on the Utah sports teams.


Transcribed by

Producer and Host: Stevie Shaughnessey — [email protected]  | @steviechrony

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Stevie Shaughnessey, Home Stretch Producer, Host
Stevie is a junior transfer student at the U who is majoring in communications with an emphasis in journalism, and minoring in documentary studies. In her free time, Stevie likes to take part in many different activities, such as dirt bike riding, snowboarding and photography.
Mary Allen, Design Director
(she/her) Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Mary is thrilled to be here at the University of Utah studying graphic design. She feels very lucky to get to rub shoulders with the talented people that make up the team here at the Chronicle and is learning a lot from them every day. Other than making things look cute, Mary’s passions include music, pickleball, Diet Coke, wildlife protection, and the Boston Red Sox.

Comments (0)

We welcome feedback and dialogue from our community. However, when necessary, The Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to remove user comments. Posts may be removed for any of the following reasons: • Comments on a post that do not relate to the subject matter of the story • The use of obscene, threatening, defamatory, or harassing language • Comments advocating illegal activity • Posts violating copyrights or trademarks • Advertisement or promotion of commercial products, services, entities, or individuals • Duplicative comments by the same user. In the case of identical comments only the first submission will be posted. Users who habitually post comments or content that must be removed can be blocked from the comment section.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *