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Utah Volleyball Upsets #15 Washington In Straight Sets

Oct 14, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Volleyball powered past No. 15-ranked Washington on Friday night, sweeping the Huskies (25-21, 30-28, 25-16) for the team's first win over a ranked squad this season. Utah combined to hit .349 in the match, which marked its second best hitting percentage of the season and its best in conference play.

Utah got it going early offensively as the Utes posted a .316 hitting percentage in the opening set, led by Madelyn Robinson's eight kills on .294 hitting. Utah used a 5-1 run to build out a 10-7 lead, while a 4-0 run later on extended the lead 15-10 heading into the media timeout. An attack error from the Huskies left the Utes leading 20-14, but five straight points from the Huskies cut the lead to just one point. Kills from Robinson and Lauren Jardine gave Utah some breathing room, before a Washington attack error left the score 23-20. Washington recorded a block the following play, but consecutive kills from Robinson would win the set 25-21 for the Utes.

The second set was played with much less separation as the set was tied 17 times compared to the first set of just six tied scores. Utah earned its largest lead of the set at three points when a kill from Allie Olsen put the Utes ahead 16-13. Still leading by three points later on at 20-17, Utah allowed a 3-0 run from Washington to tie the set. From there, the Pac-12 foes went point for point until Megan Yett recorded a kill from the back row, which was then followed by an attack error, giving Utah set point at 24-22.

Out of a timeout, the Huskies rattled off three consecutive points to earn themselves set point with a 25-24 lead. A kill from Robinson earned sideout and the teams would once again go back and forth from there. After fending off the third set point for the Huskies from a KJ Burgess kill, Utah received another kill from Robinson before Jardine ended the marathon set 30-28 with an ace. Vanessa Ramirez posted nine digs in the second set, while Emily Smith added 16 assists.

There was no stopping Utah in the third set as the home team would go on to hit at a blazing .519 clip after not a single hitting error was recorded. The Utes scored seven points in a row to begin the third set and never let up. Utah led by as many as nine points in the frame, and would complete the dominant set 25-16 from Jardine's sixth kill of the set.

Jardine finished the match with her best hitting performance of the season, recording a .458 hitting percentage with 13 kills. Robinson led the group with 15 kills, while it was Smith that led the efficient offense with 37 assists. Smith and Robinson also posted 12 digs each to mark their ninth and third double-doubles of the season, respectively. Also in double-digit digs was Ramirez, who finished with a match-high 16 digs.

Amelia Van Der Werff led the match with six blocks, while Burgess added five blocks and six kills on .545 hitting. Allie Olsen also added five kills on .714 hitting.

Utah turns its attention to Washington State, which travels to Salt Lake City this Sunday, Oct. 16. The Utes and Cougars will play at 12 p.m. MT on the Pac-12 Networks.