Drews Tallies 29 Kills In No. 19 Utah's 3-1 Victory Over Oregon State
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Led by a season-high 29 kills from outside hitter Dani Drews, the No. 19-ranked Utah volleyball team completed an undefeated weekend following a four-set victory (25-22, 20-25, 25-23, 25-14) over Oregon State. After averaging 6.71 kills per set over the weekend, Drews guided Utah to its first road sweep over the Oregon schools since 2016.
Her 29 kills on Sunday afternoon finished just one kill shy of tying her school-record 30 kills in a four-set match, which she has tallied twice in her career. Drews hit .389 in the match, but the rest of the team was just as efficient as the group hit .353 in the victory. Madelyn Robinson totaled 13 kills on .370 hitting, while Zoe Weatherington added 10 kills on a .381 clip. Stef Jankiewicz dished out 50 assists, which marks the most assists in a four-set match for the senior setter this season and just one shy of tying a season high.
The Utes began the match out in front after a 5-1 run pushed the lead out to 10-5. Utah managed to hang on to the lead and eventually add to it with another 5-1 run, pushing the first set to 19-13. Oregon State began to build some momentum and although Utah was in control for the majority of the set, the Beavers cut the lead to just 22-20, which forced a Utah timeout. Drews earned the sideout for Utah and would add a pair of kills after alternating points with Oregon State to end up taking the first set 25-22. Drews totaled nine kills in the first set to lead the way.
The second set was played much tighter and did not see a lead larger than three points for either team. After going back and forth the entire way, Utah managed to hold a two point lead at 20-18 after Robinson connected for a kill. Oregon State would end the second set and even the match at 1-1 after finishing the frame on a 7-0 run to win 25-20. The Beavers hit .500 in the second set and managed to keep up with Utah's offensive production the entire day, going on to hit .321 in the match.
Utah fell behind in the third set, but managed to pull ahead 11-10 after scoring five of six points. Oregon State took control back with a 5-1 run itself, and looked to be in control later on with the lead sitting at 20-15. The Utes rallied to finish the set on a 10-2 run that saw seven kills and two blocks to steal the set 25-23 and gain the 2-1 advantage. Drews added eight kills on .438 hitting in the frame, while Phoebe Grace came up big at the net with three blocks.
Set four was all Utah as the team pushed out to a quick 11-5 lead and later extended it to 16-9 following four straight points. The strings of points continued until the very end as Utah would end up scoring the final four points of the match to win handedly 25-14 and take the weekend sweep over the Oregon schools. Utah had its best set of the day with a .548 hitting percentage in set four, collecting 20 kills and just three errors. Drews had herself another nine-kill effort, while Robinson added six kills on the outside.
Along with the offensive efforts, Megan Yett led the team with nine digs on Sunday, while Drews and Vanessa Ramirez each added eight digs. Ramirez had a team-best two service aces as well. Grace finished the match with a match-high six blocks to lead Utah at the net.
No. 19 Utah will be back in action next weekend in Salt Lake City, hosting UCLA and USC at the Huntsman Center. Utah and UCLA will battle it out on Friday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. MT, while the Utes and Trojans are set to square off on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 12 p.m. MT. Both matches will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.