Skip to main content

Beach Volleyball Set For Four Matches At Colorado Mesa

Mar 8, 2022
Match 5: Utah (2-2) vs. Trinidad State (0-0)
Friday, March 11 | 12 p.m. MT
Grand Junction, Colo. | CMU Beach Courts
Match 7: Utah (2-2) vs. Salt Lake Community College (0-0)
Saturday, March 12 | 1 p.m. MT
Grand Junction, Colo. | CMU Beach Courts
Match 6: Utah (2-2) vs. Colorado Mesa (3-5)
Friday, March 11 | 2 p.m. MT
Grand Junction, Colo. | CMU Beach Courts
Match 8: Utah (2-2) vs. Colorado Mesa (3-5)
Saturday, March 12 | 3 p.m. MT
Grand Junction, Colo. | CMU Beach Courts

 
MATCH WEEK
Utah Beach Volleyball returns to action after a weekend off from competition, heading to Grand Junction, Colo., to play four matches at Colorado Mesa. The Utes will open the weekend with matches against Trinidad State and Colorado Mesa this Friday, March 11. The match against Trinidad State will begin at 12 p.m. MT, while the Utes will take on host Colorado Mesa at 2 p.m. MT.

Utah will continue play on Saturday, March 12 at the CMU Beach Courts with a match against Salt Lake Community College at 1 p.m. MT. The day's play will end with a second match against Colorado Mesa scheduled for 3 p.m. MT.
 
QUICK HITS
• Utah went 2-2 in its opening tournament, earning its first wins of the season over San Jose State (3-2) and Ottawa University (4-1).
• Utah's fourth pairing of Sommer Daniel and Lauren Sayre went undefeated in all four matches to begin the season, while Sonja Wessel and Keira Sheehan went 3-0 on court five together.
• Brenda Whicker is entering her fifth season at the helm of the program. The 2022 season is the first year Whicker has a roster filled with primarily beach-recruited student-athletes. There are just two indoor players on this year's roster.
• Utah will host its sole home event of the year on Friday and Saturday, Apr. 22-23. Utah will welcome Salt Lake Community College, Arizona, Boise State, and Cal Poly to Salt Lake City.
 • Utah has four returners on this year's roster, while the team welcomes 10 newcomers. Eight of the 10 newcomers are freshman, while the other two student-athletes joined the squad from the indoor volleyball team.

 


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Utah Beach Volleyball (@utahbeachvb)

 
LINEUP LOOKS
With the first matches of the season in the books, Utah saw 12 student-athletes gain competition experience. The Utes' top pair in the opening weekend was returner Grace Andrews and freshman Bella Vezzani, who provided the match-clinching point in the 3-2 win over San Jose State. On court two for Utah in all four matches were Amaya Messier and Sage Patchell, while Marissa Koch and Samantha Leight paired up on court three. Going undefeated over the weekend was Sommer Daniel and Lauren Sayre on court four, along with the No. 5 pair of Sonja Wessel and Keira Sheehan who picked up three wins. Stef Jankiewicz and Kylie Pitzak also competed on court five in the season opener.

NON-CONFERENCE NOTES
Utah beach volleyball is set to compete in a very competitive non-conference slate in preparation of a stacked Pac-12 Conference. The Utes will take on preseason ranked teams in Grand Canyon, Hawaii, Loyola Marymount, and Cal Poly before facing five ranked Pac-12 squads. Following the 2-2 outing in San Jose to begin the year and a quick trip to Colorado, Utah will face Grand Canyon before heading to a Pac-12 event, while non-conference play will resume once again the following week. The non-conference slate is highlighted by the opportunity to play at Manhattan Beach at the beginning of April when the Utes face Loyola Marymount and Hawaii. For a full look at the schedule, click here.

 


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Utah Beach Volleyball (@utahbeachvb)

 
UP NEXT
Utah Beach Volleyball heads to Phoenix in two weeks to take on Grand Canyon on Friday, March 25, before turning its attention to the Pac-12 South Event on Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27. Utah and Grand Canyon will compete at 3 p.m. MT.
The Utes will then make the drive to Tucson, Ariz., to take on UCLA and USC on Saturday at 10 a.m. MT and 3 p.m. MT, respectively. Closing out the tournament, Utah will play Stanford at 10:15 a.m. MT on Sunday, while Oregon and Utah will play at 4:30 p.m. MT. All four Pac-12 matches will be televised on Pac-12 Mountain.
 
RETURNERS RISING
Utah returns four contributors from last season's team in sophomores Grace AndrewsMarissa Koch, and Camille Lee, along with senior Sage Patchell. Koch and Patchell where the Utes' top pair for the majority of the season last year, while Andrews played primarily on court two with appearances on court one and three as well. Lee was a constant force on court three with a handful of competitions coming from court two as well. With many freshmen on the team, Utah will look to its returning four to lead the young team.
 
FRESHMEN FRENZY
The Utes welcome eight new freshmen to this year's team and the first class of solely beach-recruited players. Lauren Sayre and Samantha Leight hail from Arizona, and Bella Vezzani and Amya Messier join the program from Colorado. The team's largest group of freshmen comes from the state best known for beach volleyball – California - with Sydney JacintoKylie PitzakSonja Wessel, and Keira Sheehan all coming in from around the state. All freshmen will look to make an impact immediately as the bulk of the roster is made up from this recruiting class.

INSIDE OUT
Senior setter Stef Jankiewicz came to the U from Illinois State as a graduate transfer with intentions to play beach volleyball. Originally transferring to Utah for beach, Jankiewicz also ended up helping on the hardwood where she helped guide the Utah Volleyball team to a 22-9 record and a postseason victory over Utah Valley in the NCAA Tournament. Jankiewicz filled the setter role for the team starting all 31 matches where she led the team in assists (1,129) and earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention honors. Sophomore Sommer Daniel is also making the switch from indoor to the sand this spring as she will look to make contributions to both squads. Daniel, who has been primarily a setter and defensive specialist for the indoor squad, saw action in six matches during the fall.