No. 17 Utah Volleyball Set For Final Matches of Regular Season
Match 28: #17 Utah (19-8, 12-6 Pac-12) vs. #21 Washington State (19-9, 13-5 Pac-12)
Wednesday, Nov. 24 | 4 p.m. MT
Salt Lake City | Jon M. Huntsman Center
Stream: Utah Live Stream
Live Stats: Statbroadcast
No. 17 Utah volleyball is set for the final week of the regular season, hosting No. 21 Washington State and Colorado to close out Pac-12 play. Utah will open the week against Washington State this Wednesday, Nov. 24 at 4 p.m. MT, before hosting Colorado on Saturday, Nov. 27 for senior day at 12 p.m. MT. The match between the Utes and Cougars will be live streamed, while Utah and Colorado's match will air on the Pac-12 Networks.
• Utah is ranked No. 17 in the AVCA Coaches Poll. It is the 42nd-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. 24 in the nation this week in the RPI rankings.
• Utah is 10-3 in the Huntsman Center this season after going 8-0 at home last year. Including this season's home record, Utah has posted a 50-15 (.769) 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).
Utah volleyball will celebrate its five seniors this Saturday against Colorado, recognizing Kiley McMurtrey, Stef Jankiewicz, Madelyn Robinson, Phoebe Grace and Dani Drews for all their accomplishments as Utes. The five seniors will be recognized prior to the match. McMurtrey has made an immediate impact for the Utes in just one season, playing primarily as a defensive specialist where she has totaled 19 aces and 48 digs this year. Joining McMurtrey as a senior transfer was Jankiewicz, who stepped right in to the offense and has averaged 10.25 assists per set, totaled a team-high 29 aces and also added 233 digs.
Robinson has been a Ute for two seasons now and is second on the team this year with 2.99 kills per set. She has also totaled 24 aces and 227 digs this year, and was named Pac-12 Honorable Mention last season. Grace wraps up her time as a Ute with 92 matches played, 258.0 total blocks and 369 kills to this point. Lastly, Drews will end her career as the most decorated Utah volleyball player in history as the program's all-time kills leader, first-ever Pac-12 Player of the Year, first two-time first team AVCA All-American and two-time AVCA Pacific South Region Player of the Year.
IN THE RANKINGS
• Dani Drews leads the Pac-12 and is No. 4 in the nation in kills per set (5.11). She is also first in the Pac-12 and No. 4 in the nation in points per set (5.65).
• Stef Jankiewicz is fifth in the Pac-12 in assists per set (10.25) and No. 54 in the nation.
• Utah leads the Pac-12 in kills per set (14.09) and is No. 17 in the nation.
• Utah is third in the Pac-12 in assists per set (12.63) and is No. 35 in the nation, while the Utes rank fourth in the conference in hitting percentage (.257) and No. 34 in the nation.
• Utah is third in the Pac-12 in aces per set (1.52) and fifth in digs per set (14.10).
BY THE NUMBERS
• Utah is 14-2 this season when hitting above .250 as a team, while the Utes are 13-0 when holding their opponent to .200 or below.
• Utah is 17-1 this season when leading in attack percentage. Utah is also 13-1 when leading in blocks, 14-3 when leading in kills, and 14-3 when leading in digs.
• Dani Drews has hit double-digit kills in 25 of 27 matches, while Robinson has posted 17 matches of 10 or more kills and Zoe Weatherington has totaled 11 double-digit kill matches.
• Vanessa Ramirez has hit double-digit digs in 20 matches this season and has posted two matches of 20 digs or more.
• Drews has posted a team high 10 double-doubles, while Stef Jankiewicz has nine, Madelyn Robinson has seven and Ramirez has two on the season.
SCOUTING WASHINGTON STATE
Washington State comes into the week on a two-match winning streak after picking up wins over Oregon (3-2) and Oregon State (3-0). The Cougars also collected a win over then No. 6 Washington near the start of conference play and sit in third place in the conference standings. Washington State leads the Pac-12 with 1.80 aces per set and is No. 26 nationally. Pia Timmer leads the Washington State offense with 3.91 kills per set, where she ranks fifth in the Pac-12. Magda Jehlarova leads the Cougars defense as she is first in the Pac-12 with 1.46 blocks per set and third in the nation. Wednesday's meeting will be the first matchup of the season between the teams with the last meeting coming in the spring where Utah would sweep Washington State in Salt Lake City.
Colorado picked up a sweep over California last weekend to snap a four-match losing streak. Other wins for Colorado in conference play have come over USC and Oregon State, and a win over Utah in the first matchup. The Buffaloes lead the Pac-12 in digs per set (15.67) and are guided by Brynna DeLuzio, who averages 4.80 digs per set to lead the conference. Meegan Hart ranks fifth in the Pac-12 with 1.12 blocks per set, while Jenna Ewert is sixth in assists per set (9.94). The Buffs earned the win in Boulder over Utah in the first weekend of Pac-12 play after the Utes were held to just a .170 hitting percentage.
STRENGTH IN SERVING
Utah is third in the Pac-12 in service aces per set (1.52) and has had five servers hit 20 or more aces on the season. It is the first time since 2006 that five Utes have had 20 or more aces in a season. Stef Jankiewicz leads the team with 29 aces, while Dani Drews has totaled 27 and Megan Yett has totaled 25 aces so far this season. Adding in 24 aces is Madelyn Robinson and Vanessa Ramirez has 21 on the season. Utah is coming off a season-high 11 aces against California, which marks the fourth match of 10 or more aces and the first since the match at Nebraska (9/11).
LAST TIME OUT
Utah rolled past California to open the week's play, downing the Golden Bears in straight sets. Utah hit .370 and was led by Dani Drews' 13 kills on .706 hitting in just two sets, while Zoe Weatherington added nine kills on .727 hitting. Utah also recorded a season-high 11 service aces in the win. Utah then found itself in a battle against Stanford on Sunday where the Utes would go on to fall in four sets. The Utes and Cardinal played an even match, but Utah could not seem to get out in front at the right time and hold onto a set. Drews posted 19 kills and 15 digs, while Madelyn Robinson added 18 kills and 13 digs.
Utah volleyball will await its postseason destination until tuning in to the NCAA Selection Show this Sunday, Nov. 28. Utah's NCAA Championship berth will be announced on ESPNU with the broadcast set to begin at 6:30 p.m. MT.