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No. 16 Utah Wraps Up Regular Season Road Slate With Win Over Arizona State

Nov 14, 2021

TEMPE, Ariz. – No. 16 Utah volleyball completed an undefeated weekend in the desert Sunday afternoon by taking down Arizona State in four sets (26-24, 15-25, 25-20, 25-18) at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe. The winners of three straight, Utah moved to 18-7 overall this season and 11-5 in conference play after Sunday's victory.

Utah fell behind early in Tempe, trailing 7-2 to start the first set. The Utes battled back and tied the set for the first time at 10-10, and later took their first lead of the set at 12-11. A pair of kills from Dani Drews and a kill from Amelia Van Der Werff pushed the lead out to 19-15, which was Utah's largest lead of the opening frame.

Leading 22-19, the Sun Devils scored five of six points to come back and take the lead 24-23 for set point. After the Utes called timeout, Arizona State missed a serve out of the break and a Drews kill put Utah at set point, 25-24. Drews then earned her sixth kill of the set to push Utah to a 26-24 opening set victory.

An early 7-0 run for the Sun Devils was the difference maker in the second set as Utah fell behind 11-4 and could not recover. The Utes saw a glimmer of hope after a 6-1 run closed the gap to just 18-14 for Arizona State, but six unanswered points for the Sun Devils opened up the set once again and eventually led to a 25-15 second-set loss for Utah.

The Utes and Sun Devils traded points to start the third set until five-straight points gave Utah a 13-8 lead. Later, a 3-0 run from Arizona State cut the lead to 17-16 and the set stayed within a point until Zoe Weatherington recorded a block, which was then followed by a Drews kill to take a 21-18 lead. Out of a Sun Devil timeout, Van Der Werff recorded another block and Weatherington followed with a kill to lead 23-18 late in the set. Utah went on to end the set with a pair of kills and take the 2-1 match lead. Drews tallied seven kills in the frame, while Weatherington posted six kills on six swings.

The fourth set began with Utah pushing out to a 9-6 lead, however, Arizona State went on to take an 11-10 lead after scoring five of the next six points. Later on, Utah used a 6-1 run, which included three blocks, to pull ahead 19-15. The Sun Devils cut the lead to 19-17, but four consecutive points put the set at 23-17. Arizona State earned a sideout, but a Sun Devil attack error followed by an ace from Stef Jankiewicz ended the set 25-18 and the match 3-1 for Utah.  

Drews led Utah once again in kills with 23 on the day, while Weatherington totaled 13 kills on .429 hitting to give the Utes a spark. Drews also added 11 digs for her ninth double-double of the season and third in the last four games. Jankiewicz filled out the stat sheet nicely, finishing with 46 assists, nine digs, four kills, four blocks and three aces.

Van Der Werff posted a career-high seven blocks on Sunday for the Ute defense, while Madelyn Robinson posted a career-high 16 digs to lead the team. Vanessa Ramirez also added in 12 digs.

Utah will return to the Huntsman Center to host California and Stanford next week. The Utes will open the week's play against California on Thursday, Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. MT in Salt Lake City. Utah and Stanford will meet on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 12 p.m. MT.