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Utah Sweeps Bradley To Close Out Road Trip

Sep 3, 2022

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Utah Volleyball closed out the weekend of play with a straight-set victory over the Bradley Braves (25-21, 25-15, 25-19)  in West Lafayette, Ind. The Utes improved to 4-2 overall this season after earning their third sweep of the year. Following exceptional performances over the weekend, Madelyn Robinson and Vanessa Ramirez were named to the All-Tournament Team. Robinson averaged 4.54 kills per set, which included a career-best 26 kills against Purdue, while Ramirez averaged 5.15 digs per set and posted a career-best 27 digs against Purdue yesterday.

"I am very pleased with this weekend," said head coach Beth Launiere. "Our effort was exceptional and I am happy to come out of the weekend 2-1. It would have been nice to get the win against Purdue last night, but honestly I was pleased how we showed up and battled. We also learned a lot and that is what you want out of these preseason tournaments. All in all, it was a very successful tournament for the Utes!"
Coming off a pair of five-set matches the day before, Utah slowly got into the swing of things against Bradley on Saturday as the Utes went back and forth to start the opening set. Tied 12-12, Utah broke away in the frame after using a 6-1 run to take an 18-13 lead and force Bradley to call timeout. Later, Utah pushed the lead to 20-14, but Bradley began to chip away with three points in a row to trail just 20-17.

KJ Burgess collected a kill to stop the momentum and the two teams would trade points from there until Bradley managed to collect consecutive points and trail just 23-21. Following a Utah timeout, Abby Karich recorded a kill to put the Utes at set point before Emily Smith finished off the set 25-21 with a kill of her own. Madelyn Robinson collected six kills (.417 hitting), Lauren Jardine added four kills (.444), and Burgess added three kills (.500) to lead the offense.

In the second set, Utah pulled out to a 9-4 lead early on after collecting five kills on seven swings, an ace from Kamry Bailey, and a block from the likings of Amelia Van Der Werff and Jardine. Bradley called timeout, but the momentum was not stopped for the Utes as they came out of the break scoring three of the next four points to extend the lead 12-5. With the Utah lead later sitting at 14-6, Bradley put together a 5-0 run to cut the lead to just three points.

Utah countered with four unanswered points, which included back-to-back service aces from Jardine, to send the teams into a Bradley timeout with the lead pushed out to 18-11. The dominant set continued and Utah went on to take the set 25-15. Utah recorded five aces in the frame with a pair each from Jardine and Kamry Bailey, while the offense hit at a .333 clip to roll past the Braves.

Looking for a sweep, Utah gained a 10-6 lead to start the third set, but the advantage was short-lived as Bradley later trailed just 12-11. Jardine's ninth kill of the match later put Utah ahead 17-14 before she was able to reach double-digit kills on the day, forcing Bradley to call timeout trailing 18-14. The Braves pulled within two with the score at 20-18, but Utah closed out the match scoring five of the next six points to end the weekend with a sweep.

Defensively, Utah was led by efforts from Bailey and Vanessa Ramirez, who finished off their exceptional weekends with 15 digs each. Robinson led the match with 12 kills, while Jardine collected 10 kills and three blocks on the day. After earning her first career start, Burgess posted six kills on .455 hitting and led the team with five blocks. Emily Smith dished out 17 assists, while freshman Viktoria Wahlgren posted 12 assists in the sweep.

Utah Volleyball will be back in action next Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9-10, in San Diego for another non-conference tournament. Utah will open action against SMU on Friday at 6 p.m. MT at Jenny Craig Pavilion. On Saturday, the Utes will begin the day with a match against UConn at 11 a.m. MT before playing No. 15-ranked San Diego at 8 p.m. MT.