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No. 7 Volleyball Outlasts USC in Five-Set Battle

Feb 14, 2021

Box Score | Boxscore

SALT LAKE CITY – No. 7 Utah volleyball stayed undefeated with a five-set win (24-26, 25-19, 25-18, 24-26, 15-13) over USC in the Huntsman Center.
The Utes battled all day after dropping the first set and when things were tight in the fifth set, they edged out in front of the Trojans late to clinch the win and move their win streak to eight.
Both teams went point-for-point through the fifth until Utah won three of four points to go up 13-11. Saige Ka'aha'aina-Torres got the kill giving Utah its second match point of the afternoon, and then a couple points later, Phoebe Grace got the match-winning kill.
Utah had three student-athletes with double-figure kills. Dani Drews led the team with 21, Kenzie Koerber had 14 and Zoe Weatherington had 10.
Koerber also had a career high in digs with 20 and three aces and Drews finished with 14 digs and two aces.
Utah ended up dropping the first set, but not until they made a late run to tie things up at 24. After having three set points spoiled, USC bounced back to win the next two points to claim the first set and early lead.
Early in the second set, the Utes scored five points in a row with Koerber serving to go up 11-7. USC tried to hang around and got within one at 18-17, but the Utes only lost two points the rest of the set to tie things up with a 25-19 win.

In the third set, the Utes once again got rolling early with a 6-0 run giving them a 10-6 lead. The Trojans tied it up at 12, but Utah edged back out in front. Eventually, Utah built a lead as big as eight before going up 2-1 in the match with a 25-18 set win.
The fourth set was very similar to the first set with USC controlling it the majority of the way. They led by as many as five before Utah started chipping away. With USC trying to extend the match to a fifth set, Utah won five of six points to gain a match point up 24-23. The Trojans had an answer though, winning the next three points to push the match to a fifth and final set.
In that final set with neither team giving up much, Utah hit .333 with 11 kills and two errors. The only separation by either team came with things tied at 10 when the Utes won the next two points with kills from Drews and Koerber. That tiny separation is all Utah needed to finish the match off for their eighth straight win.
Phoebe Grace had six kills hitting .308 with 4.0 blocks. Kennedi Evans had four kills and 8.0 blocks on the afternoon.
Utah had two season highs with 13.0 blocks and 10 aces in the match.
Vanessa Ramirez finished with eight digs, five assists and three service aces at libero.
Saige Ka'aha'aina-Torres had 45 assists and 17 digs.
Utah moves to 8-0 on the season now and looks forward to two more home matches next weekend against Oregon. The first will be Thursday, February 18 at 3 p.m. followed by a Saturday, February 20 match at 2 p.m.