Stellar Serving and Net Play Guide No. 19 Utah In Sweep Over Oregon State
SALT LAKE CITY – A well-rounded match from start to finish led No. 19 Utah volleyball to make quick work of Oregon State on Friday night in the Jon M. Huntsman Center, downing the Beavers in straight sets (25-18, 25-19, 25-13). The Utes used fierce serving and aggressive net play to improve to 9-3 overall this season and 2-1 in Pac-12 play.
Utah totaled seven service aces in the match and nine blocks, while holding Oregon State to just one ace and three blocks in the sweep. The Utes were also clicking offensively, hitting at a .293 clip for the match. The Ute block and stifling defensive play limited the Beavers to a .062 hitting percentage in the dominant victory.
Utah broke open the first set after a string of four consecutive points before Oregon State would call timeout trailing 11-6. The Beavers scored a pair of points to cut into the lead, but Utah continued to apply the pressure with a 4-1 run to extend the lead to 15-9. The lead stayed in favor of Utah late in the frame and Madelyn Robsinon's sixth kill of the night ended the set 25-18.
The separator in the second set came from four aces and five blocks from Utah compared to none of either on the Oregon State side of the net. The second set found Utah behind from the get-go, but a 5-1 run that included back-to-back aces from Kiley McMurtrey evened the set at 10-10. A big kill from Zoe Weatherington sent the two squads to a media timeout and out of the timeout, Utah scored six of the next seven points – a run that saw three blocks – to push the lead to 21-15. The Beavers cut the lead to just 22-19 for Utah, but three unanswered points for the Utes ended the set.
Utah had its best offensive frame of the night in the third set, while Oregon State recorded its worst to hand the Utes a dominant 25-13 third set victory for the sweep. Utah used four straight kills in the middle of the set to jump out to a 13-7 lead, and later on would record a 8-3 run to put the sweep in reach with a 23-12 lead. Fittingly, a pair of blocks from Utah would go down as the final two points in the return to the Huntsman Center.
Dani Drews had a phenomenal night on the outside, leading the Ute offense with 13 kills on a .500 clip. Also hitting .500 in the match was Weatherington, who added seven kills. Robinson joined Drews in double figures with 12 kills.
Stef Jankiewicz dished out 28 assists and led Utah in both digs and blocks as well, recording nine digs and four blocks tonight. Megan Yett collected seven digs, while Vanessa Ramirez added six. Middle blockers Kennedi Evans and Allie Olsen each tallied three blocks.
No. 19 Utah will now turn its attention to No. 11 Oregon, hosting the Ducks in the Huntsman Center this Sunday, Oct. 1 at 12 p.m. MT. The top-20 match will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.