No. 16 Utah Volleyball Sweeps Arizona In Tucson
TUCSON, Ariz. – No. 16-ranked Utah volleyball set the tone early against Arizona on Friday afternoon after holding the Wildcats to just nine points in the first set, leading to an eventual sweep (25-9, 26-24, 25-22) over the home team in the McKale Center. Led by Dani Drews and Madelyn Robinson combining for 29 kills and just six errors, Utah hit .400 in the straight-set victory, while holding Arizona to just a .175 hitting percentage.
Utah, which moved to 17-7 overall and 10-5 in Pac-12 play, hit .550 in the opening set and cruised to a 25-9 win. The Utes saw Robinson post five kills on seven swings in the first set, while Drews added in four kills on eight swings to lead the way. Also going Utah's way, Drews tallied two aces, while Megan Yett and Vanessa Ramirez each added in an ace to aid to the dominating set. Nine points in a row jolted Utah out to a 15-3 lead despite a pair of Arizona timeouts and there was no looking back as Utah held complete control of the set.
Unlike the first set, the second and third sets were much tighter between the Utes and Wildcats. The two teams had little separation in the second set and it was Arizona that built a bit of a lead at 12-8. Utah played from behind the majority of the set until managing to score three of four points and tie the frame 20-20.
The Wildcats pushed back out to a 23-21 lead, but the Utes scored three unanswered to push to set point (24-23). An Arizona kill earned a sideout, but back-to-back kills from Robinson ended the frame for Utah. The Utes posted a .464 hitting percentage in the second set to continue their hot-hitting, which was led by Robinson's six kills on .625 hitting.
Utah used a 6-0 run to pull out to an 8-5 lead early on in the third set and later went on a 3-0 run to lead 15-11 and force Arizona to call timeout. Looking to close out the set, Utah would record a kill from Amelia Van Der Werff followed by a pair of service aces from Drews to extend the lead 21-14. Arizona surged back with a 5-0 run to cut the lead to just 21-19 for the Utes. The teams traded points the rest of the way and eventually saw Utah finish the set from kills by Robinson and Drews, who were in a groove all game.
Drews finished the match with 15 kills, seven of which came during the third set, while Robinson posted 14 kills. Zoe Weatherington also added five kills on seven swings. Stef Jankiewicz dished out 32 assists and Ramirez led the team with 11 digs. Phoebe Grace posted three blocks to lead the way at the net, while Drews posted a season-high four aces. Utah's .400 hitting percentage was its second-best of the season, coming in only behind the .479 effort against Utah Valley back on Aug. 28.
Utah will be back in action Sunday, Nov. 14 against the Arizona State Sun Devils for the final road match of the regular season. The Utes and Sun Devils will meet at 1 p.m. MT at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe, Ariz.