No. 15 Utah Volleyball Ends Opening Weekend Of Pac-12 Play With Road Loss At No. 24 Colorado
BOULDER, Colo. – The No. 15-ranked Utah Utes dropped a road contest at No. 24-ranked Colorado on Friday night, falling in three sets (15-25, 17-25, 23-25) to close out the opening weekend of Pac-12 play. Utah (8-3, 1-1 Pac-12) struggled to find an offensive rhythm until it was too late, while Colorado (10-1, 1-1 Pac-12) hit .351 in the match to keep the Utes from leaving town with the win.
Utah got itself in a hole early on, falling behind 10-3 in the opening frame. The Buffaloes continued to apply the pressure and built out a comfortable 22-13 lead, eventually finishing off Utah 25-15. Madelyn Robinson posted four kills on .571 hitting in the set, but the team combined for just a 0.81 clip to get the night started offensively. Colorado used five blocks to its advantage, while Utah failed to record a block in the first set.
The offensive efficiency continued for Colorado in the second set where the Buffs hit .419 as a unit. Utah on the other side of the net was held to a .125 hitting percentage. Utah fell behind once again to start, but a spurt of five-of-six points cut the Colorado lead to just 14-11 at the midway point.
Shortly after, a kill from Zoe Weatherington and a solo block from Kennedi Evans closed the gap to just 16-14. Although the momentum seemed to be on Utah's side, Colorado used a 9-3 run to win the set 25-17. Robinson continued her excellent night with five kills in the frame – still zero errors on the night – and a .556 clip in the set. Weatherington also added four kills in the frame.
Utah settled in a bit more to start the third set and the two ranked squads would go back and forth until the final points of the set made the difference. The third set featured 13 tied scores and seven lead changes in a highly competitive frame. Utah took a lead late at 21-20 from a kill by Amelia Van Der Werff, but consecutive Colorado kills set Utah behind 22-21. An attack error from Utah forced a timeout after trailing two points, but another kill from Robinson cut the lead back to a point. Utah couldn't fend off Colorado and ultimately dropped the set 25-23 to end the match.
Robinson led the squad with 12 kills, finishing with just one error for a .407 hitting percentage. Weatherington posted nine kills and Dani Drews added eight. Stef Jankiewicz dished out 24 assists and totaled 10 digs for her sixth double-double of the season. Vanessa Ramirez also hit double-digit digs for the 11th-consecutive match, collecting 10 in the match.
Utah will open the home conference slate against Oregon State next Friday, Oct. 1. First serve for the Utes and Beavers is set for 7 p.m. MT at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.