Utah Volleyball Rolls In Home Opener, Sweeps Utah Valley
SALT LAKE CITY – It was a warm welcome back to the Jon M. Huntsman Center for the Utah volleyball team and the fans in attendance after Utah (2-0) cruised past Utah Valley (0-2) in three sets (25-15, 25-10, 25-12). Utah's presence at the net limited Utah Valley all night and earned the Utes a second win over the Wolverines in two days to start the season.
Fresh off the season opener last night, the Utes picked up where they left off and dominated at the net both offensively and defensively. Utah hit .446 for the match over Utah Valley's .011 clip, as well as out-blocked the Wolverines 12.0-5.0.
Zoe Weatherington had the hot hand early in the first set and collected three quick kills right out of the gates to set the tone for the entire match. Utah pushed a lead out to 13-5 immediately, but a 6-1 run forced Utah to call its first timeout of the set leading 14-11.
Out of the timeout, the Utes scored seven of the next nine points to take control of the set at 21-13 and never looked back. Utah went on to finish the first set in commanding fashion, putting away the Wolverines 25-15. Stef Jankiewicz spread the offense around in the first set and saw four Utes each collect at least two kills with Dani Drews leading the way at four kills in the set.
Utah continued to feed off of the home crowd in the second set and put away the Wolverines early. Utah jumped out to a 9-2 lead and despite timeouts from Utah Valley in an attempt to stop the run, the Utes sustained their fire power and ran away with the set 25-10. The offense was clicking on all cylinders and recorded a whopping .600 hitting percentage compared to Utah Valley's .032 clip in the set. The net play backed up the offense as well after Utah tallied six blocks in the second set.
The efficiency continued for the Ute hitters in the third set as the team went on to record 15 kills with just two errors for a .565 hitting percentage. The Utes and Wolverines went back and forth to start the set, but a kill from Phoebe Grace sparked what went on to be an 8-1 run for Utah to take a commanding 19-9 lead.
Utah took care of business with three kills in the final four points of the match to begin its season at the Jon M. Huntsman Center with a sweep, finishing the match with a third set victory of 25-12 over Utah Valley.
Drews led the squad with 13 kills with a .440 hitting percentage, while Weatherington finished the night with seven kills on a .400 clip. Robinson added seven kills, Kennedi Evans added six kills on six attempts and Amelia Van Der Werff tallied four kills in her debut.
Evans led Utah in blocks for the second-straight match with 6.0 total blocks, while Weatherington finished with 5.0. Jankiewicz led the fierce offense with 30 assists and also posted seven digs, while Vanessa Ramirez hit double-digit digs with 11 on the night.
Utah volleyball will be back in action next weekend when the team hosts the Utah Classic. The Utes will take on Cal Poly on Friday, Sept. 3 at 10 a.m. MT before hosting No. 20 San Diego at 7 p.m. MT on Friday. Utah will then host Hawaii in the final game of the Utah Classic on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. MT.