Red & White Match Closes Out Utah Volleyball's 2022 Fall Camp
SALT LAKE CITY – The No. 22-ranked Utah volleyball team closed out this year's fall camp with the annual Red & White match on Saturday afternoon, playing through a five-set battle inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The Red team, which was led by sophomore transfer Lauren Jardine's match-high 25 kills, pulled away with the 15-11 win in the fifth set to claim bragging rights over the white team.
"I really like the competitiveness we saw on the court today and thought we continued to get better as the match went on, and that is what you really want to see in this type of setting," head coach Beth Launiere said. "It is good to go through game day routines and feel prepared for next weekend. A lot of the details we worked on in fall camp we really did well and there are things we can definitely get better at moving forward. We are really excited to open the season in a week at the Utah Classic!"
Jardine got off to a quick start in the first set after collecting eight kills to guide the red team to a 25-20 victory. The red team pulled out to quick lead after a 6-0 run and later scored three more points in a row to lead 12-6 and force a timeout. The white team managed to trim the lead to just three points after a few attack errors, but the red team would pull away once again and hang on for the win. The red team also used four service aces from four different players to their advantage in the opening frame.
The white team bounced back in the second set as Madelyn Robinson totaled five kills in the set to match her first set production, while Allie Olsen exploded for six kills on eight swings with no errors. The tough serving also switched sides with the white team collecting three aces and the red team earning none. Freshman Viktoria Wahlgren led the white team to a .379 hitting percentage as she finished with 13 assists in the set. The Ute squads battled closely the entire frame until the white team managed to put together a 5-1 run to lead 19-15 and never look back.
Robinson continued her strong outing with six kills on eight swings in the third set to lead the white team to a 2-1 advantage in the match. Emily Smith led the white team in the third set as she collected 10 assists. The blocking came to life with Olsen posting five blocks in the frame, teaming up with Smith and Ashley West for a pair, along with Abby Karich.
The red team wouldn't go down without a fight in the fourth set and jumped out to a lead from the get-go. The white team fought back to regain the lead and eventually pull ahead 12-10. A kill from Amelia Van der Werff earned the sideout and started a 6-0 run for the red team to lead 16-12. Leading by as many as five points, the white team saw the red squad fight back and tie the set at 20-all in a must-win set. Tied 22-22, back-to-back kills from Jardine followed by a kill from KJ Burgess won the set and sent the match to a fifth. Burgess collected four kills on six swings to join Jardine's six kills to highlight the frame.
In the fifth set, the red team received kills from six different players and combined for a .714 hitting percentage to take the win 15-11 despite the white team hitting a .500 clip.
Jardine and Robinson led the teams offensively, tallying 25 and 24 kills, respectively. Robinson also collected 14 digs to round out her double-double, while Jardine posted eight digs. Olsen posted 11 kills on .435 hitting, while posting a team-high six blocks. Fellow middle blockers Burgess and Van der Werff each added nine kills with three and four blocks, respectively. Karich and West also totaled eight kills apiece.
The trio of setters for Utah were led by Smith's 38 assists, while Wahlgren and Grace Hammond each tallied 25 assists as the three setters rotated between teams. Hammond also posted three service aces. Leading the defensive charge was libero Vanessa Ramirez, who finished with a match-high 22 digs, while Kamry Bailey also reached double figures with 11 digs. Megan Yett posted nine digs and three aces, while Karich and Iliana Linahan also totaled nine digs.
The season opener for the Utes will be the following weekend when the team hosts the Utah Classic on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 26-27. Utah will open its home tournament against Loyola Marymount and No. 23 Kansas on Friday at 10 a.m. MT and 7 p.m. MT, and will close out action the next day against Utah Valley at 4 p.m. MT on the Pac-12 Networks. Season tickets for Utah Volleyball can be found here for the 2022 season.