Beach Volleyball Set For Sole Home Tournament of the 2022 Season
Utah Beach Volleyball is set to host its sole home event of the 2022 season this weekend in Salt Lake City this Friday and Saturday, April 22-23 at the Lassonde Beach Courts. Utah will open action against Salt Lake Community College at 9 a.m. MT on Friday, while competing against No. 17 Arizona at 3 p.m. MT. The match versus the Wildcats will be Utah's pride and inclusion match.
On Saturday, Utah will open the day against Boise State at 9 a.m. MT before the team prepares for their senior day match against No. 13 Cal Poly. Utah will recognize its two seniors Sage Patchell and Stef Jankiewicz prior to the match with competition slated to begin at 3 p.m. MT.
Saturday's morning matches will overlap with the Salt Lake City Marathon. Parking for the beach volleyball tournament can be found in the HPER lot located on the south side of the soccer field and west side of the track. The beach courts are located west of the HPER lot on the north side of Lassonde. Fans are encouraged to take I-80 and exit at Foothill Drive to get to campus due to the marathon. To see which roads are impacted, click here. Admission is free for all matches.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
|Friday, April 22||Saturday, April 23|
|Utah vs. SLCC - 9am||Utah vs. Boise State - 9am|
|Arizona vs. Cal Poly - 11am||Cal Poly vs. SLCC - 11am|
|Boise State vs. SLCC - 1pm||Boise State vs. SLCC - 1pm|
|Utah vs. Arizona - 3pm||Utah vs. Cal Poly - 3pm|
|Cal Poly vs. Boise State - 5pm|
• Utah has played eight top-20 opponents this season with another pair of matches against ranked opponents coming up this weekend.
• Utah has hosted just one home tournament (2019) since the program started in 2017.
• Brenda Whicker is in 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 has just four returners on this year's roster, while the team welcomed 10 newcomers. Eight of the 10 newcomers are freshmen, while the other two student-athletes joined the squad from the indoor volleyball team.
Utah will honor two seniors as they play the final home matches of their careers. Sage Patchell was voted a team captain the past two seasons and has led the team from the moment she arrived. Patchell has played primarily between the top two courts during her time as a Ute. She is an incredible defender, has an infectious positive energy and leads by example. Stef Jankiewicz joined the beach team after an All-Pac-12 season for the indoor volleyball team and brought a competitive spirit to the team. Jankewicz has competed on court five this season while learning the ins and outs of the beach game. She is a true team player and is willing to do anything to make the team better.
Utah has made history this season on a few occasions as the program continues to grow. The Utes have recorded the most wins in a single season in program history this year, sitting at eight wins with the home tournament on deck and the Pac-12 Championships next week. This season, Utah earned its first-ever regular season Pac-12 win after downing Oregon 3-2 at the Pac-12 South Invitational. The program had previously earned its other conference wins at the Pac-12 Championships. The most recent milestone for Utah came back on April 5, as the Utes received votes in the AVCA Beach Volleyball Coaches poll for the first time in program history. Utah received two votes in the poll, ranking No. 25.
• Sage Patchell and Amaya Messier competed in the top spot for the first time in late March and have since competed there in every single match, while starting the season on court two before swapping places with Andrews and Vezzani. Patchell and Messier have picked up five wins together this season.
• Grace Andrews and Bella Vezzani began the season at the No. 1 position and have played the past 11 matches on the second court. The duo has recorded seven victories overall.
• Marissa Koch/Samantha Leight and Lauren Sayre/Sommer Daniel have competed at courts three and four, respectively, in every match this season. Koch/Leight have earned eight wins on court three, while Sayre/Daniel have posted a team-best 11 wins to this point.
• Kylie Pitzak and Sydney Jacinto have played at the No. 5 position in the last 15 matches and have six wins. Also seeing playing time on court five this season has been Sonja Wessel/Keira Sheehan, and Stef Jankiewicz/Pitzak.
Arizona heads into the weekend ranked No. 17 in the nation and has won three of its last four matches. The Wildcats upset No. 11 Long Beach State 3-2 last weekend at home, while the loss was to No. 7 Grand Canyon. Arizona downed Utah two weeks ago at the Pac-12 North Invitational. The Utes have picked up two 5-0 wins over Salt Lake Community College, while the matches against Boise State and Cal Poly will be the first meeting of the season. Boise State has won eight of its last nine matches, which includes victories over Washington and Oregon. Meanwhile, Cal Poly has dropped its last four matches but all four losses were to teams ranked in the top-six. The Mustangs fell 2-3 to No. 4 Florida State to highlight last week's competition. Cal Poly has earned wins over No. 14 Long Beach State, No. 16 Arizona and No. 18 Pepperdine this season.
Utah will head to the 2022 Pac-12 Championships next week, competing in the three-day event at Bear Down Beach in Tucson, Ariz. The conference championships run Wednesday, April 27 through Friday, April 29. The bracket will be announced early next week and every match will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
Utah Beach Volleyball welcomes 10 newcomers to the 14-person roster in 2022. Take a dive into some of our freshmen's stories and learn about their journey to the U.