Skip to main content

No. 18 Utah Volleyball Set To Host Arizona State and Arizona

Oct 19, 2021

Match 18: #18 Utah (12-5, 5-3 Pac-12) vs. Arizona State (9-10, 2-6 Pac-12)
Friday, Oct. 22 | 6 p.m. MT
Salt Lake City | Jon M. Huntsman Center
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Live Stats: Statbroadcast

Match 19: #18 Utah (12-5, 5-3 Pac-12) vs. Arizona (11-8, 3-5 Pac-12)
Sunday, Oct. 24 | 1 p.m. MT
Salt Lake City | Jon M. Huntsman Center
Stream: Utah Live Stream
Live Stats: Statbroadcast
No. 18 Utah volleyball returns to the Huntsman Center this weekend after a four-match road swing, hosting Arizona State and Arizona in Salt Lake City. The Utes will open the weekend against Arizona State on Friday, Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. MT. The match will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks and will be called by Krista Blunk. Utah and Arizona will wrap up play on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. MT. The match between the Utes and Wildcats will be live streamed.
Friday night's match against Arizona State will be a 'Dark Mode' match. All fans wearing black will receive free admission. Dani Drews will also be recognized before the match for becoming Utah's all-time kills leader. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and help Utah volleyball honor Drews during her special presentation. Additionally, the Utah women's basketball team will be recognized on the court during the match break before their season begins in three weeks.
• Utah is ranked No. 18 in the AVCA Coaches Poll this week. It is the 37th-straight week Utah has been ranked, dating back to Sept. 2, 2019.
• Utah remained at No. 12 in the nation this week in the RPI rankings.
• 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.
• 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).
• The Utes have played nine of their last 11 matches on the road.
• Utah is 11-0 this season when leading in attack percentage and 9-0 when leading in kills. Utah is also 10-1 in matches when leading in digs and 9-1 when leading in blocks.
• Utah is 8-0 this season when hitting above .250 as a team, while the Utes are 9-0 when holding their opponent to .200 or below.
• Dani Drews has hit double-digit kills in 15 matches, while Robinson has posted 11 matches of 10 or more kills.
• Vanessa Ramirez has hit double-digit digs in 14-of-17 matches this season, which is twice as many times as the next Ute.
• 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.
• Utah is No. 28 in the nation in blocks per set (2.56) and fifth in the Pac-12.
• Utah is No. 52 in the nation in kills per set (13.51) and third in the Pac-12.
• Utah also ranks third in the Pac-12 in digs per set (14.20), fourth in aces per set (1.49), fourth in assists per set (12.16), and fourth in opponent hitting percentage (.197).
• Dani Drews leads the Pac-12 and is No. 7 in the nation in kills per set (4.79). She is also No. 1 in the Pac-12 and No. 6 in the nation in points per set (5.39).
• Allie Olsen is fifth in the Pac-12 in blocks per set (1.16), while Kennedi Evans ranks eighth in the conference (1.11). Stef Jankiewicz is sixth in the Pac-12 in assists per set (9.34).
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. Drews sits at 1,979 career kills as Utah's newest all-time kills leader and moved into ninth all-time on the conference career kills leader board. 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's middles Amelia Van Der Werff and Allie Olsen stepped up tremendously for the Utes in the Bay Area last weekend. Van Der Werff earned her first career start against Stanford and posted a season-high 11 kills on 15 swings, hitting .667 in the match. She also matched a career-high five total blocks to lead the team. Against Cal, she had eight kills, zero errors and hit .667. Olsen on the other hand came into the Stanford match after fellow middle Kennedi Evans suffered an injury and came up big for Utah. Olsen added five kills on seven swings (.714) and posted four blocks behind Van Der Werff. She continued her stellar play against Cal with nine kills on 13 attempts (.692) and a team-high five blocks. Combined, the two middles recorded 33 kills on 47 attempts and just one error in the last two matches. 

Arizona State is coming off an upset over No. 14 UCLA last weekend, downing the Bruins in five sets at home. The Sun Devils have gone to five sets the past three matches, which includes against No. 11 Washington, and have played in 10 five-setters this year of the 19 total matches. Along with UCLA and Washington, the Sun Devils pushed ranked squads of Oregon and Louisville to five sets as well despite coming up short. Arizona State is led by Iman Isanovic, who ranks eighth in the Pac-12 with 3.62 kills per set, while Claire Jeter ranks eighth in the conference with a .339 hitting percentage. Last year, the Utes took both meetings against the Sun Devils, winning in five sets and three sets.
Arizona opened its Pac-12 slate by winning three-straight matches, but have since gone on a five-match slide. The Wildcats earned wins over rival Arizona State, Oregon State and California to begin conference play. Other wins for Arizona this year have come over New Mexico State and Northwestern. Sofia Maldonado Diaz is fourth in the conference in aces per set (0.37), while Emery Herman runs the offense and dishes out 9.21 assists per set, which ranks seventh in the Pac-12. Jaelyn Hodge leads the team with 3.34 kills per set. Utah swept Arizona in both meetings last year in the spring season to begin the year.

Following last weekend's trip to the Bay Area, Utah has 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 and the Bay Area before finally looking ahead to the return to the Huntsman Center.
Utah volleyball begins the second half of Pac-12 play by taking a trip to Oregon and Oregon State. The Utes and the Ducks will open the weekend on Friday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. MT in Eugene, Ore. The match at Matthew Knight Arena will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks. Utah will face Oregon State on Sunday, Oct. 31 at 12 p.m. MT at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore.