Utah Volleyball Falls To Eighth-Ranked Stanford
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Volleyball dropped a tight three-set match to eighth-ranked Stanford (22-25, 22-25, 20-25) on Sunday night at the Jon M. Huntsman Center to close out the weekend of play.
The Utes hit a respectable .250 hitting percentage for the match, but could not contain the Cardinal offense as the visiting team hit a .327 clip. The Ute defense was an even match for the top-10 Stanford team as both squads posted 38 digs and eight blocks.
Utah opened the match with little separation during the first set as the largest lead from either team was just two points until Stanford managed to push a lead out to 18-15. Utah received a pair of kills from Amelia Van Der Werff, a kill from Madelyn Robinson and a big block from the duo of Emily Smith and Allie Olsen to outscore Stanford 4-1 and tie the frame 19-all. Despite having the momentum, the Cardinal used a 5-1 run to earn set point, 24-20. Consecutive points for Utah forced a Stanford timeout, but Stanford's Kendall Kipp ended the set 25-22.
The second set nearly mirrored the first set as the two teams played another tightly contested frame. Tied 14-14, Stanford gained separation from Utah with a 3-0 run, however, a Jardine kill and block immediately after trimmed the lead back to one point. Stanford and Utah scored in pairs of points for the next six rallies, eventually causing Utah to call timeout trailing 21-18.
Out of the break, KJ Burgess earned the sideout for the Utes. From there, Utah could not piece together a final run of points as the Pac-12 foes went point for point down to the very end of the set as Stanford took the win 25-22.
Utah fell behind in the third set 12-8 after Stanford scored four of five points. The Cardinal held on to the lead for the majority of the set despite the Utes continuing to battle from behind. The Utes cut the lead to just two points at 15-13, but Stanford went on a run of its own to push the lead out to 20-15. The Cardinal managed to hold on to the lead for the remainder of the set after limiting the Utes to just one point at a time, eventually winning the set 25-20.
Robinson led the Utes with 12 kills on the day, while Burgess matched a career-high 10 kills on .625 hitting to give the Ute offense a spark, while also posting three blocks. Smith dished out 34 assists and 10 digs for her eighth double-double of the season. She also posted a team-high four blocks, which ties a career high.
Olsen added six kills on .444 hitting and three blocks, while Van Der Werff tallied five kills on .364 hitting. Vanessa Ramirez totaled a match-high 12 digs to lead the team, with Kamry Bailey also adding six digs and an ace.
Utah will remain in Salt Lake City to continue Pac-12 play as the Utes are set to welcome Washington and Washington State next weekend. Utah will host Washington on Friday, Oct. 14, before welcoming Washington State to the Huntsman Center on Sunday, Oct. 16.