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No. 17 Utah Volleyball Picks Up Senior Day Win Over Colorado

Nov 27, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY – Led by senior standout Dani Drews' 28 kills, the No. 17-ranked Utah volleyball team picked up a four-set victory (25-19, 19-25, 25-12, 25-22) over Colorado on senior day at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. With the win, Utah finished the regular season 21-8 overall and 14-6 in Pac-12 play, which concluded a third-place finish in the conference standings.

Drews started off the day with nine kills in the opening set, hitting .500 to set the tone early for the day. Drews and the Utes used a 5-1 run to take a 10-7 lead in the first set, but the Buffaloes battled back to cut the lead to just 14-13 later on. A kill from Drews kicked off four consecutive points, which forced a Colorado timeout after the Utah lead became 18-13. Able to hang on to the lead, Utah eventually recorded the 25-19 win in the first set. Senior setter Stef Jankiewicz tallied 16 assists in the opening frame to cross the 1,000-assist mark this season.

Colorado turned the tide in the second set and after five unanswered points midway through the set, the Buffs pulled away 17-9. Later leading 23-14, Utah began to find some momentum and tallied five-straight kills between the efforts of Drews and Zoe Weatherington. Although Utah cut the lead to 23-19, Colorado ended the set with consecutive points to tie the match 1-1.

Utah responded in the third set and hit .500 as a team after posting just one hitting error. The hot-hitting led the Utes to a 10-5 lead early on and later saw a 5-0 run extend the lead to 17-9. Utah didn't waste time in closing out the set as five-straight points ended the dominant 25-12 third set. Drews and Amelia Van Der Werff each totaled four kills, while Weatherington added in three kills.

The Utes found themselves in a 9-2 deficit early to start the fourth set, but it was Drews again to earn a timely sideout and kick off a 5-0 run that saw two blocks and three kills. Despite having its lead cut to just two points, Colorado managed to push the lead out to 15-11. Momentum shifted once again and Utah took its first lead of the set at 16-15 following a 6-1 run. The teams went back and forth as the set began to get into crunch time and with the set tied 21-21, Van Der Werff collected her 12th kill of the match to put Utah up one point. A block from Phoebe Grace and Jankiewicz then gave Utah match point, and a kill from Madelyn Robinson would end the set 25-22 for Utah.

Drews added seven digs to her match-high 28 kills and hit .377 in the win. She also tied a season-high 4 aces on the day. Van Der Werff posted 12 kills on .474 hitting, while Weatherington added in 10 kills. Jankiewicz posted her 10th double-double of the season with 50 assists and a season-high tying 17 digs. She also posted four blocks.

Vanessa Ramirez posted 14 digs and eight assists, while Robinson collected eight kills and eight digs. Leading play at the net was Grace, who finished with six blocks, and Van Der Werff, who finished with five blocks.

No. 17 Utah volleyball will wait to see where postseason action begins with the NCAA Selection Show set to air tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. MT on ESPNU. Utah will be looking for its sixth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and eighth selection in nine years.