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Utah Volleyball Falls to UCLA, USC

The Utes struggled to find momentum against the two SoCal teams, dropping both matches to opponents.
The+University+of+Utah+Womens+Volleyball+takes+on+the+BYU+Cougars+at+the+Jon.+M.+Huntsman+Center+in+Salt+Lake+City%2C+Utah%2C+on+Sept.+15+2022.
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)

 

Following a split series against the Arizona schools, the University of Utah Volleyball team (9-13, 4-8 Pac-12) prepared to take on UCLA and USC at home.

UCLA

The Utes started off the first set red hot, scoring five points in a row. Utilizing this momentum, the Utes were determined to keep up the energy. The Bruins attempted a late rally in response, but to no fruition. The Utes easily won the first set, 25-20.

Continuing to build off of their late momentum, the Bruins took an early lead in the second set. With an early 3-0 run, the Bruins began to run off with the set. Coming out of a timeout, the Utes worked to attempt a valiant comeback. The Utes found themselves within three points of the Bruins’ lead multiple times, but could not seize the gap, letting the Bruins win the set 25-18.

The Bruins began the third set with absolute dominance. They started off with a 5-0 scoring run and led by as many as nine points through the set. The Utes continued to work from behind, eventually cutting the Bruins’ lead to one. Despite the Utes’ comeback effort, the Bruins held onto their lead. With a 25-22 set win, the Bruins looked to take the match in the fourth set.

The Utes and Bruins maintained close competition to start the fourth set. The teams traded off the first seven points, then the Bruins found their stride. Starting out leading 8-4, the Bruins refused to hold back. The Utes couldn’t get any momentum going and a kill by Iman Ndiaye earned the set for the Bruins, 25-13. With the set win, the Bruins won the match, 3-1.

USC

The Trojans and Utes started off their second match-up of the season with tight competition. The two teams traded the first eight points in the first set. It didn’t take long for the Utes to catch on fire, going on a 6-0 run to take an early lead, 9-5. The Trojans worked their way back, eventually tying the set at 20 all. After another Trojan point, the Utes completed a 5-0 streak to deny the Trojans their comeback and win the set 25-21.

Looking to tie the match, the Trojans took control of the second set. They took an early lead and never looked back, leading by as many as eight points during the set. The Utes found some success late in the set, cutting the deficit to four points. Despite the Utes’ comeback efforts, it was too little too late and the Trojans won the set 25-20.

To start the third set, the two teams maintained close proximity with each other, with neither team taking a lead greater than three points. Finally, the Utes began to create separation, using a 6-0 run to gain a four point lead and forcing the Trojans to call a timeout. Coming out of the timeout, the Trojans produced a 6-1 run to regain the lead. The Utes worked to again go up, but the Trojans completed their comeback and won the set, 26-24.

The Trojans took the lead midway through the fourth set and held a tight grip on it. The Utes were ultimately unable to regain the lead. The Trojans continued to dominate, taking a 17-10 lead before the Utes used a timeout. The Utes were able to get within three points of the Trojans at 21-24, but it was too late. The Trojans won the fourth set, 25-21, and the match, 3-1.

Up Next

This week, Utah volleyball will hit the road to take on the University of Oregon at 7 p.m. MT Friday and on Sunday will head north to take on the Oregon State Beavers at 1 p.m. MT.

 

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@jonahmarriott

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About the Contributors
Jonah Marriott, Sports Writer
(he/him) Jonah Marriott grew up in South Ogden, Utah, where he inherited his love for sports from his parents. He is a devout fan of each of Detroit’s major sports franchises, the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, and the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. He is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering, with an emphasis in aerospace.
Xiangyao Tang, Photo Director
Axe is a photographer and the photo director of the Daily Utah Chronicle. He is from China and is a senior majoring in computer science and minoring in digital photography. Axe joined the Chronicle in August of 2021. In addition to his position at the Chrony, he is also a photo intern for University of Utah Athletics. When he's not writing code, you will find him rock climbing, camping, skiing or hiking with his camera.

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