No. 16 Utah Volleyball Hosts No. 13 UCLA Friday Night, USC Sunday Afternoon
Match 23: Utah (15-6, 8-4 Pac-12) vs. USC (10-11, 6-6 Pac-12)
Sunday, Nov. 7 | 12 p.m. MT
Salt Lake City | Jon M. Huntsman Center
Stream: Pac-12 Mountain
Live Stats: Statbroadcast
No. 16 Utah volleyball returns to the Jon M. Huntsman Center this weekend to host No. 13 UCLA and USC. The Utes will begin the weekend with a top-20 matchup against the Bruins on Friday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. MT. The match will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks. The first 300 fans in the building will receive free t-shirts, while all fans wearing red to the match will receive free admission.
Sunday's contest against USC will have the first serve come at 12 p.m. MT. The match between the Utes and Trojans will be televised on Pac-12 Mountain.
• Utah is ranked No. 16 in the AVCA Coaches Poll this week. It is the 39th-straight week Utah has been ranked, dating back to Sept. 2, 2019. The Utes are one of six Pac-12 teams in the top-25.
• Utah is No. 19 in the nation this week in the RPI rankings.
• Utah is 8-1 in the Huntsman Center this season after going 8-0 at home last year. Including this season's home record, Utah has posted a 48-13 (.787) record at the Huntsman Center since 2017.
• Utah has recorded five top-25 wins this season, which includes the two highest ranked wins on the road all-time (No. 3 Nebraska, No. 6 Washington).
BY THE NUMBERS
• Utah is 11-0 this season when hitting above .250 as a team, while the Utes are 11-0 when holding their opponent to .200 or below.
• Utah is 14-0 this season when leading in attack percentage. Utah is also 12-1 when leading in blocks, 12-1 when leading in kills, and 11-2 when leading in digs.
• Dani Drews has hit double-digit kills in 19 of 21 matches, while Robinson has posted 13 matches of 10 or more kills.
• Vanessa Ramirez has hit double-digit digs in 16 matches this season and has posted two matches of 20 digs or more.
• Stef Jankiewicz has posted a team-high seven double-doubles this season. Drews has tallied six double-doubles, Madelyn Robinson has six and Ramirez has two on the season.
IN THE RANKINGS
• Utah leads the Pac-12 in kills per set (13.95) and is No. 21 in the nation.
• Utah is fifth in the Pac-12 in blocks per set (2.49) and No. 43 in the nation, while ranking fourth in the conference in hitting percentage (.250) and No. 45 in the nation. Utah is also second in the Pac-12 in assists per set (12.56) and No. 46 in the country.
• Utah is third in the Pac-12 in aces per set (1.49) and fifth in digs per set (14.15).
• Dani Drews leads the Pac-12 and is No. 3 in the nation in kills per set (5.00). She is also No. 1 in the Pac-12 and No. 5 in the nation in points per set (5.56).
• Allie Olsen is fifth in the Pac-12 in blocks per set (1.11) and Stef Jankiewicz is fifth in assists per set (10.0).
Dani Drews earned her second Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honor following performances on the road against then-No. 17 Oregon and Oregon State. Drews is coming off a week where she averaged 6.71 kills per set and posted a season-high 29 kills against Oregon, leading Utah to an undefeated weekend. She hit .344 on the weekend and moved into sixth all-time in conference history in career kills (2,062). She also became the sixth player in Pac-12 history to record 2,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs. The award marked her second selection of the season following performances over then-No. 3 Nebraska and Weber State – a week in which she also won the Sports Import/AVCA Player of the Week award. She is just the third player in Utah history to be named the national player of the week, joining Adora Anae (2017) and Brenda Barton-Whicker (1997).
UCLA is riding a four-match winning streak and has won eight of its last nine contests. The Bruins sit alone in first place in the conference standings after a commanding 3-0 win over Washington this weekend and sit at 17-3 this season. Along with win against the Huskies, UCLA has posted notable wins over Washington State, Stanford, San Diego and Georgia Tech. The Bruins bested the Utes a few weeks ago in Los Angeles after outside hitter Charitie Luper tallied 20 kills in the three-set match. The Bruins are led by Mac May, who ranks second behind Drews in kills per set (4.72) in the Pac-12 and No. 10 in the nation. Luper follows in kills per set for the Bruins, totaling 3.75 k/s, which ranks seventh in the Pac-12. Setter Shelby Martin is fourth in the Pac-12 in assists per set (11.43) and No. 37 in the nation.
USC has dropped its last three matches, which have all come from ranked teams. The Trojans are 6-6 in Pac-12 play and have collected noteworthy victories over Washington State, Colorado and Arizona State. Utah took the first meeting of the season in Los Angeles, sweeping USC in the match where Dani Drews became Utah's all-time leader in kills. The Trojans are led by Brooke Botkin on the outside where she averages 3.64 kills per set, which ranks eighth in the conference. Shannon Scully leads the team defensively with 3.49 digs per set.
LAST TIME OUT
Utah completed its first road sweep over the Oregon schools since 2016 last weekend after downing No. 17 Oregon in straight sets and then picking up a four-set road win at Oregon State. Against the Ducks, Dani Drews rolled to a match-high 18 kills, while Stef Jankiewicz dished out 43 assists which was the most in a three-set match for the setter this season. The streaking offense continued to perform on Sunday for Drews as she posted a season-high 29 kills on .389 hitting to lead Utah in a win over the Beavers. Drews was just one kill shy of tying her school-record for kills in a four-set match (30), while Jankiewicz again led Utah – this time with 50 assists. It was the most assists in a four-setter this year for Jankiewicz as she led the Utes to a .353 hitting percentage.
Utah will have its final road matches of the regular season in two weeks, heading to the desert to face Arizona and Arizona State. The Utes will open road play in Tucson against Arizona on Friday, Nov. 12 at 3 p.m. MT. Utah will then look forward to a matchup at Arizona State on Sunday, Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. MT in Tempe. Both matches will be live streamed.