No. 10 Utah Volleyball Drops Road Match at Boise State
BOISE, Idaho – No. 10 Utah volleyball suffered its first loss of the season Monday afternoon, falling to the Boise State Broncos in four sets (18-25, 25-17, 20-25, 21-25) at Bronco Gym. The Utes dropped to 7-1 on the year, while Boise State improved to 9-1 overall.
"Boise State played really well and they are a very good team," said head coach Beth Launiere. "There are no excuses for us. We knew it was going to be a tough situation and we need to learn from it. Time to move on to the next match and focus on what is ahead."
Utah came out with low energy in the first set and let Boise State take advantage early, building a four point lead at 12-8. Utah cut the Bronco lead to just two points, trailing 13-11, but Boise State used a 9-2 run to break open the frame and build a comfortable 22-13 advantage. Boise State went on to take the frame 25-18 and limit Utah to a 0.54 hitting percentage, while the Broncos hit .257 in the opening set.
The Utes came out and responded in set two offensively and defensively, hitting .300 as a group, as well as collecting more digs and blocks than the Broncos. Dani Drews led the offense with seven kills on nine swings and no errors. A kill from Drews put Utah ahead 9-8 and sparked what went on to be a 9-2 run, gaining a 17-10 advantage in the second set. Boise State tried to make it interesting by scoring the next four points, but a big kill from Zoe Weatherington ended the run. The Utes ran away with the set 25-17 to even the match 1-1.
The two teams played even-keeled in the third set and found the frame tied 15-15. Boise State scored five of the next six points to pull out a lead to 20-16 and put pressure on Utah. Drews collected another kill to cut the lead to three, but Utah couldn't put together more than one point at a time before Boise State had closed out the set at 25-20. The Utes hit .314 in the third set, but the Ute defense couldn't stop the Broncos' offense, which hit .556 in the frame.
Trailing 2-1 in the match, Utah found itself in a set with little separation. The Utes trailed just one point at 17-16, but a Boise State surge pushed the lead to 22-17 late in the set. The Broncos earned their first set point at 24-18 and despite getting three points in attempt of a late rally, the Utes ultimately fell 25-21 in the fourth set and 3-1 in the match.
Drews tallied 20 kills in the match, while Weatherington and Madelyn Robinson each added 10 kills for Utah. Emily Smith dished out 33 assists today, while Vanessa Ramirez once again led the team defensively with 12 digs. Robinson also hit double-digit digs, finishing with 10 digs. Kennedi Evans recorded six blocks.
Utah will be back in action this Thursday, Sept. 13, to take on No. 15-ranked BYU. The Utes and Cougars will square off at 7 p.m. MT at Smith Fieldhouse in Provo.