Utah Volleyball Falls To Washington State
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Volleyball dropped a tight three-set match to the Washington State Cougars (21-25, 23-25, 25-27) to wrap up the two week home stand at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
Utah built out a 11-7 advantage in the first set, but the lead would disappear after Washington State outscored the Utes 7-3 to tie the frame at 14-all. Allie Olsen recorded a kill to reach the media timeout, but out of the break the Cougars scored four in a row to lead 18-15. Utah trimmed the lead to just 19-18, but back-to-back points from WSU forced a Utah timeout. KJ Burgess tallied a kill, which was then followed by an ace from Vanessa Ramirez, but a 4-1 run from the Cougars would close out the set 25-21. Madelyn Robinson posted six kills on .556 hitting the opening set.
The Utes fell behind quickly in the second set and would use six-straight points to turn the momentum and lead 7-4. Later, Utah held on to an 11-7 lead, but Washington State went on a 9-1 run to force Utah to play from behind once again when suddenly trailing 16-12. The Utes rebounded and scored four of the next five points to cut the gap to 17-16. The teams went point for point until a kill from Robinson followed by a Cougar attack error gave Utah consecutive points to tie the frame 20-20.
Washington State scored three of the next four points to pull back ahead 23-21. Out of a timeout, Allie Olsen tallied a kill, but a WSU block gave the visitors set point 24-22. KJ Burgess earned the sideout with a kill, however, the Cougars ended the frame 25-23 with a kill of their own.
The third set went back and forth from start to finish with there being 16 tied scores and six lead changes. Utah led by three points after Burgess and Amelia Van Der Werff teamed up for a block, but the lead quickly vanished as Washington State scored three in a row immediately after. Later on, another block from Burgess and Van Der Werff was followed by another Robinson kill to get the Utes to 20 points first and lead by one point.
A 4-1 run ensued for Washington State to lead 23-21. Viktoria Wahlgren hammered down an over pass and then followed with a block the next play to tie the frame 23-23. Despite WSU earning match point on a block of their own, Olsen and Lauren Jardine recorded another block for Utah before Wahlgren tallied another kill for a Ute set point at 25-24. Out of a timeout, Washington State would score three points in a row to win the match.
Robinson ended the match with 17 kills on .364 hitting to lead the Utes, while Emily Smith posted 30 assists to lead the offense. Olsen added seven kills on .357 hitting, and Van Der Werff tallied six kills on .600 hitting. Burgess led Utah's blocking efforts with six blocks, while she also posted five kills on .455 hitting. Ramirez recorded eight digs to lead the team defensively.
Utah wraps up the first half of Pac-12 play with a trip to the Pacific Northwest next week, traveling to Oregon and Oregon State. Utah opens the road trip against Oregon on Friday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. MT. The final match of the trip will be on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 1 p.m. MT against Oregon State. Both matches will be live streamed.