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Oregon State Falls To Utah In Five-Set Battle

Nov 10, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY – The Beaver volleyball team pushed Utah to the limit on Thursday night at the Jon M. Huntsman Center, falling in five sets (25-19, 22-25, 14-25, 25-20, 12-15) to the Utes.

Mychael Vernon led the Beavs with 16 kills, while Kateryna Tkachenko finished right behind her with 14 kills of her own. Defensively, libero Ryan White led the way with 20 digs and setter Inna Balyko dished out 43 assists.

Oregon State got off to a slow start offensively, hitting just .116 in the opening set. A kill from Szulczewski got the Beavs back within a pair, before a 5-0 run from the Utes extended their lead out to seven at 15-8. Trailing by eight, sophomore Emily Bourne entered and provided a spark for the Beavs, collection two kills on a 6-1 push to draw OSU closer, before ultimately dropping the set, 25-19.

Trading points back-and-forth for the opening portion of the second stanza, Oregon State grabbed their first lead at 9-8 off a Utes attack error. A pair of kills from Kinley Swan as part of a 4-0 run saw the Beavs extend their edge out to 14-11. Holding onto an 18-14 advantage, Utah answered with four-straight to draw even. After Utah took the lead back at 20-19, OSU answered with another 4-0 swing to take control and sealed the second set, 25-22, with kills from Tkachenko and Szulczewski.

The Beavs went to work early in the third, grabbing a 5-2 advantage out of the gate off a service ace from Vernon. The success at the service line continued for OSU, as back-to-back aces from Szulczewski stretched the Beaver lead to seven at 11-4. OSU continued to push, going on a 9-1 run, in part to three-straight kills from Vernon to extend the advantage to 16-5. Using eight attack errors by Utah, the Beavs led by as many as 15 in the set, going up 2-1 in the match, with a 25-14 victory in the third.

Fighting to keep the match alive, Utah flipped the script in set four, using a big 8-0 run to jump out to a 10-2 lead. Oregon State clawed back with another 4-0 Beaver run and drew within one off an Inna Balkyo ace at 16-15 to close a 5-0 push by OSU. Utah answered to force the match to a fifth and final set, taking the fourth, 25-20.

In the fifth, Utah took control early, leading 8-5 at the switch. OSU answered to tie the match at 8-8 off three-straight attack errors by the Utes. Oregon State gave Utah the points back with three-straight errors of their own to take the fifth set, 15-12.

Oregon State returns to the court on Saturday at Colorado. First serve against the Buffs is set for 6 p.m. PT.

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