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No. 17 Utah Volleyball Falls In Four Sets To No. 19 Stanford

Nov 21, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY – No. 17 Utah volleyball fell in four sets (25-22, 21-25, 23-25, 22-25) to No. 19 Stanford on Sunday at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The tightly contested match came down to the wire each set and ultimately dropped Utah to 19-8 overall this season and 12-6 in Pac-12 play.

Stanford managed to get out ahead in the first set, eventually pushing the lead to 16-12 and forcing a Utah timeout. Two kills from Amelia Van Der Werff and a block cut the lead to just 16-15, but Stanford put together a pair of points to lead 18-15. A service error from the Cardinal sparked a 6-1 run, allowing Utah to take its first lead of the set at 21-19. The teams traded points and with the Ute lead at 23-22, Dani Drews put down her sixth kill of the frame for set point and Van Der Werff went on to finish the 25-22 win with her fifth kill of the first set. Van Der Werff hit .833 in the first set, while Madelyn Robinson added four kills in the frame on .667 hitting.

The second set had minimal separation as the Utes and Cardinal stayed within one to two points throughout. Stanford built its largest lead at 17-13 after going on a 4-1 run and although the Utes earned a sideout from a block, the Cardinal scored the next five points to extend the lead 22-14. Utah attempted to comeback after cutting the score to just 23-19 and then 24-21, but it was too late as Stanford's Caitie Baird ended the frame 25-21.

Utah came out of the break and built a third-set lead to 13-8. Stanford battled back into the set and used a 5-1 run to trail the Utes 14-13. Although Utah maintained the lead and even pushed the lead back out to four points, Stanford scored three unanswered late in the set to pull back within one point (22-21). Out of Utah's timeout, Stef Jankiewicz went over on two and earned the kill to lead 23-21. Stanford went on to score four points in a row to win the set 25-23 as they ended the frame on a 7-1 run all together.

The fourth and final set played out to be just as competitive as the first three sets were with neither team building much separation. The fourth set saw 13 tied scores, while the first three sets only had 16 total tie scores. The largest run of points by any team in the fourth set came from Stanford, which had used a 5-1 run to take a 21-19 lead late. From that point on, the Utes and Cardinals would go point for point and eventually Stanford would take the set 25-22 and the match 3-1.

Drews led the Utes with 19 kills and 15 digs, while fellow outside hitter Madelyn Robinson posted 18 kills on .371 hitting and 13 digs. Joining Drews and Robinson with a double-double on Sunday was Jankiewicz, who posted 51 assists and 11 digs.

Van Der Werff totaled 10 digs for the Utes on .421 hitting, while posting six blocks to lead the team. Zoe Weatherington also added 10 kills today and posted three blocks. Vanessa Ramirez recorded nine digs in the match as well.

No. 17 Utah volleyball will prepare for its final week of the regular season, which begins next Wednesday, Nov. 24 against Washington State. The Utes and Cougars will square off at 4 p.m. MT at the Huntsman Ceneter, before Utah hosts Colorado for senior day on Saturday, Nov. 27 at 12 p.m. MT.