No. 17 Utah Volleyball Visits No. 18 Stanford Thursday Night On ESPNU, California Sunday Afternoon
Match 17: #17 Utah (11-4, 4-2 Pac-12) at California (7-10, 0-6 Pac-12)
Sunday, Oct. 17 | 2 p.m. MT
Berkeley, Calif. | Haas Pavilion
Stream: Pac-12 Networks
Live Stats: Statbroadcast
No. 17 Utah volleyball heads to the Bay Area to continue its stretch of road matches, taking on No. 18 Stanford and California. The Utes will start the road trip with a top-20 match in Maples Pavilion against Stanford on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 8:30 p.m. MT in Palo Alto, Calif. The match will be televised on ESPNU with Holly McPeak and Mike Monaco on the call.
The Utes will head across the bay for a match on Sunday, Oct. 17 to close out the weekend against Cal. The Utes and Golden Bears will play at 2 p.m. MT at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. The match will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks with Kevin Danna serving as the talent.
• Utah is ranked No. 17 in the AVCA Coaches Poll this week. It is the 36th-straight week Utah has been ranked, dating back to Sept. 2, 2019.
• Utah moved up a spot in the RPI rankings this week, moving to No. 12 in the nation.
• Utah has recorded four top-25 wins this season, which includes the two highest ranked wins on the road all-time (No. 3 Nebraska, No. 6 Washington).
• Utah is 7-0 in the Huntsman Center this season after going 8-0 at home last year. Including the start of this season, Utah has posted a 47-12 (.797) record at the Huntsman Center since 2017.
BY THE NUMBERS
• Utah is 10-0 this season in matches when leading in digs and 10-0 when leading in attack percentage. Utah is also 9-0 this season when leading in kills and 8-1 when leading in blocks.
• Utah is 7-0 this season when hitting above .250 as a team, while the Utes are 8-0 when holding their opponent to .200 or below.
• Vanessa Ramirez has hit double-digit digs in 13-of-15 matches this season. The sophomore libero leads the team with 3.48 digs per set.
• Stef Jankiewicz has posted a team-high seven double-doubles this season. Dani Drews and Madelyn Robinson have each posted five double-doubles, while Ramirez has two on the season.
• Drews has hit double-digit kills in 13 matches, while Robinson has posted 11 matches of 10 or more kills.
IN THE RANKINGS
• Utah is No. 28 in the nation in blocks per set (2.57) and fourth in the Pac-12.
• Utah is No. 49 in the nation in kills per set (13.52) and fourth in the Pac-12.
• Utah ranks third in the Pac-12 in digs per set (14.54), fourth in aces per set (1.54), fourth in assists per set (12.19).
• Dani Drews leads the Pac-12 and is No. 8 in the nation in kills per set (4.76). She is also No. 1 in the Pac-12 and No. 7 in the nation in points per set (5.39).
• Kennedi Evans is fourth in the Pac-12 in blocks per set (1.14), while Allie Olsen is fifth (1.11). Stef Jankiewicz is sixth in the conference in assists per set (9.22).
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Following the pair of matches in the Bay Area this week, Utah will have played nine of its last 11 contests on the road. The Utes began the long stretch of road play in Nebraska back on Sept. 11 and returned to the Huntsman Center for the first time on Oct. 1 following the five-match road swing. The tough road schedule included a lineup of four out of five matches coming against ranked opponents - No. 3 Nebraska, No. 6 Washington, No. 15 BYU, No. 24 Colorado. Utah played two home matches before hitting the road for another stretch of matches away from home. The Utes earned a split in Los Angeles before turning their attention to Stanford and Cal.
Stanford heads into the weekend coming off a sweep over Oregon State and a five-set loss from the Oregon Ducks. The Cardinal are 9-5 this season with all losses coming from ranked teams, including then No. 1 Texas and No. 8 Kentucky. Stanford has picked up notable non-conference wins over then No. 5 Florida and No. 18 Penn State. Stanford leads the conference in assists per set, hitting percentage and kills per set, while ranking second in blocks per set. The Cardinal rank in the top-20 in the nation in each of those categories. Kami Miner leads the Pac-12 and is fourth in the nation with 11.44 assists per set, while McKenna Vincini leads the conference and is No. 14 in the nation with 1.40 blocks per set. Caitie Baird leads the offense with 4.04 kills per set, which ranks fourth in the Pac-12.
Cal is coming off losses to Oregon and Oregon State as the Golden Bears have yet to pick up a win in conference. California's non-conference schedule was highlighted from starting the season with seven-straight wins, along with notable victories over Pacific in five sets and Saint Mary's in four sets. Katie Smoot leads the Bears' offense with 3.18 kills per set, while Bella Bergmark ranks fourth in the Pac-12 and No. 39 in the nation with a .386 hitting percentage. Annalea Maeder is also fourth in the Pac-12 in service aces per set, averaging 0.36 this season.
Against USC, Dani Drews surpassed former teammate Adora Anae's school-record 1,920 career kills to sit on top of the all-time kills list. Following the weekend's play, Drews sits at 1,944 career kills as Utah's newest all-time kills leader. Drews holds the single-season program record in kills (643, 2019) and the single-match record in kills in the rally-scoring era in three sets (22, 2018), four sets (30, 2x) and five sets (33, 2019). Drews also became the program's first-ever Pac-12 Player of the Year, the program's only two-time AVCA Pacific South Region Player of the Year, as well the only player to earn two AVCA First Team All-American awards.
Utah will return to the Jon M. Huntsman Center to host Arizona State and Arizona to wrap up the first half of the conference slate. Utah and Arizona State will meet Friday, Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. MT and will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks. The Utes will then have first serve against the Wildcats on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. MT to wrap up the weekend.