Utah Volleyball Wraps Up First Half of Pac-12 Play in Pacific Northwest
Match 20: Utah (11-8, 4-4 Pac-12) at #20 Oregon (11-5, 5-3)
Friday, Oct. 21 | 7 p.m. MT
Eugene, Ore. | Matthew Knight Arena
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Utah wraps up the first half of Pac-12 play this weekend when it travels to No. 20-ranked Oregon and Oregon State for a pair of road matches. The Utes will open play against Oregon this Friday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. MT inside Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore. Utah and Oregon State will turn around and play on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 1 p.m. MT at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore. Both matches will be live streamed.
• Utah has played just four true road matches this season of the 19 matches.
• Madelyn Robinson has posted double-digit kills in every match this season and has led the team in kills in all but one match that she has played in.
• Vanessa Ramirez has had the most or at least tied for the most digs on the team in 17 of 19 matches this season.
• Utah is 11-16 overall in the series history against Oregon (5-7 in Eugene). Utah won both of the meetings last season, sweeping the Ducks on the road and winning in four sets at home. The Utes and Ducks have gone 5-5 in the last 10 meetings.
• Utah is 14-11 all-time against Oregon State (4-5 in Corvallis). The Utes have won nine of the last 10 meetings, including the last five straight matches. Utah picked up a four-set win in Corvallis last year and swept the Beavers in SLC.
IN THE RANKINGS
• Utah leads the Pac-12 and is No. 88 in the nation with 15.13 digs per set.
• Utah is fifth in the Pac-12 and No. 29 in the nation with 13.78 kills per set.
• Utah is fifth in the Pac-12 and No. 47 in the nation with 12.51 assists per set.
• Madelyn Robinson is second in the Pac-12 and No. 15 in the nation with 4.42 kills per set.
• Vanessa Ramirez leads the Pac-12 and is No. 94 in the nation with 4.29 digs per set.
• Allie Olsen is fourth in the conference in hitting percentage (.367) and No. 55 nationally.
• KJ Burgess is seventh in the Pac-12 in blocks per set (1.28) and is No. 38 nationally.
RALLYING AROUND ROBINSON
Madelyn Robinson, an AVCA All-Region and All-Pac-12 player from a season ago, has taken leadership over this Utah team and led the squad with 4.42 kills per set, which ranks second in the conference and No. 15 in the nation. During Pac-12 play, she has averaged 4.74 kills per set to lead the team. Robinson has collected double-digit kills in every match this season, including a career-high 26 at Purdue. She also has tallied three double-doubles this season, which ranks second on the team, and has led the team in kills all but one match that she has played in this season. Robinson earned her first Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week award on Sept. 5, following her weekend at Purdue where she had two matches of 20-plus kills. Robinson posted 23 kills at USC and totaled eight kills on .638 hitting in just the second set alone, while the match marked the third time she has hit the 20-kill mark this season and the first time in a four-set match. This past weekend, Robinson recorded 5.33 kills per set against Washington and Washington State.
RAMIREZ RUNNING THE BACK ROW
Utah libero Vanessa Ramirez is leading defensive efforts for the Utes and the Pac-12 Conference in digs per set so far. Ramirez is averaging a league-best 4.29 digs per set and has hit double-digit digs in all but three matches. During the Pac-12 opening weekend, she averaged 5.50 digs per set vs. Colorado and Arizona, and recorded her fifth match 20 or more digs when she posted 20 digs in the sweep over Arizona. In Los Angeles, Ramirez led the Utes with her sixth 20-dig match of the year after collecting 22 digs at USC. During conference play, she has averaged 4.50 digs per set. At the Purdue tournament, she posted two matches of 20-plus digs, which were both career high marks. She first posted a personal-best 25 digs against Milwaukee before upping the career high to 27 digs, which she recorded against Purdue. Ramirez has had the most or at least tied for the most digs on the team in 17 of 19 matches this season.
BURGESS BREAKING OUT
Ute freshman KJ Burgess has been on roll as of late and is leading the team with 1.28 blocks per set this season, which ranks seventh in the Pac-12 and No. 38 in the nation. This past weekend against Washington State and Washington, Burgess totaled 11 blocks to lead the team, while the first year Ute hit .500 with zero hitting errors between the two matches. Burgess has hit above .455 in five of the last six matches with four of those outings having zero hitting errors. She tied a season-high 10 kills against Stanford on .625 hitting. In conference play, she is hitting a team-best .366 clip, which ranks seventh in the Pac-12. She is averaging 1.29 blocks per set during Pac-12 play, which is the most by any freshman in the conference.
Oregon snapped a three-match losing streak with a win over UCLA (3-1) after falling to both Washington and Washington State in five sets on the road before falling in four sets at USC. Oregon picked up an impressive sweep over then No. 5-ranked Stanford as the Ducks got off to a 4-0 start in Pac-12 play, but now sit at a 5-3 slate just ahead of Utah in the standings. Oregon is second in the conference and eighth nationally with a .291 hitting percentage. The Ducks are also No. 16 nationally and second in the Pac-12 in kills per set (13.98), and No. 13 in the nation and third in the Pac-12 in assists per set (13.11). Oregon is led by Brooke Nuneviller's 4.12 kills per set and Mimi Colyer's 3.86 kills per set, which rank fourth and sixth in the Pac-12, respectively. Kiari Robey is No. 31 in the nation and fifth in the Pac-12 with 1.30 blocks per set.
SCOUTING OREGON STATE
Oregon State finished non-conference play 5-5, but have since gone 1-7 in Pac-12 play. The Beavers sole win in conference play came in five sets over Cal at home. Most recently, Oregon State fell to Arizona in three sets before dropping a five-set battle to Arizona State last weekend. Mychael Vernon leads the Beavs with 3.17 kills per set, while four athletes are averaging at least 2.00 kills per set. As a team, Oregon State is fifth in the Pac-12 with 14.43 digs per set.
• Utah is 10-0 when leading in hitting percentage.
• Utah is 5-0 when hitting .300 or better, and 8-2 when hitting .250 or better.
• Utah has recorded more digs or tied its opponent in digs in 14 of 19 matches.
• Seven Utes have recorded at least one match of 10 or more kills this season.
• Six Utes have recorded at least two matches of 10 or more digs this season.
• Madelyn Robinson has recorded double-digit kills in every match she has played in this season.
• Vanessa Ramirez has posted double-digit digs in 16 of 19 matches this season.
• Emily Smith has posted nine double-doubles this season, while Robinson has tallied three.
Utah Volleyball returns to the Jon M. Huntsman Center next week to host USC and UCLA. Utah and UCLA open the Halloween themed weekend on Friday, Oct. 28, at 6 p.m. MT. The Utes will wrap up the weekend in Salt Lake City against the Trojans on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 12 p.m. MT. Both matches will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.