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Utes Outlast Beavs In Five-Set Battle

Nov 10, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Volleyball outlasted Oregon State in a five-set battle (25-19, 22-25, 14-25, 25-20, 15-12) on Thursday night at the Huntsman Center behind double-doubles from Madelyn Robinson and Emily Smith, and a season-best 17 blocks from the Utes. Utah's 17 blocks are the program's most in a match since Aug. 31, 2019.  

Robinson posted a match-high 20 kills and 15 digs for her fourth double-double of the season, as well as a career-high six blocks. Smith posted her 13th double-double of the year with 41 assists and 11 digs. Leading the blocking efforts were middle blockers KJ Burgess and Allie Olsen, who each posted seven blocks in the five-set win to match their career bests.

Utah also posted nine aces with Smith tallying three aces to lead the way, while Robinson and Vanessa Ramirez each added two aces. Ramirez tallied 15 digs and Megan Yett added 12 digs and an ace as well. Aiding Robinson offensively were eight kills each from Olsen and Burgess, while Lauren Jardine added nine kills.

Utah broke open the first set with a 5-0 run to extend the lead to 15-8 after the teams went back and forth to start the match. With strong blocking efforts from Amelia Van Der Werff on the front row, Utah managed to hold on to the large lead and eventually pushed the score to 22-13. Oregon State began to settle in and put together a 6-1 run to cut the Ute lead to just 23-19. Out of a Utah timeout, KJ Burgess connected on a kill and Ramirez ended the set 25-19 with her second ace. Van Der Werff posted four of Utah's six blocks in the set, while Robinson tallied six kills and eight digs in the opening frame.

In the second set, Oregon State used a 4-0 run to force Utah to burn its first timeout after falling behind 14-11. Utah trimmed the lead to just one point, but Oregon State would later pull ahead 18-14. The Utes countered with a 4-0 run of their own, tying the score and sending the teams into another timeout – this time called by the Beavers. Utah later allowed four consecutive points to trail 23-20 late in the second set, but a kill followed by a block from KJ Burgess cut the lead to just one point. After another OSU timeout, the Beavers connected on consecutive kills to win the set 25-22 and tie the match 1-1.

Utah could not find any rhythm in the third set offensively nor in its serve receive efforts. The Utes quickly fell behind 16-5 and had to use both timeouts of the set. The errors for the Utes continued to stack up as the Beavers later led 21-6 with Utah hitting a negative hitting percentage in the frame. Although the Utes turned the set around with a 8-2 run, it was too late as Oregon State took the set 25-14.

Utah bounced back after the rough third set by jumping out to a 10-2 lead immediately. The Beavs trimmed the lead to just 11-7, however, four of the next five points were scored by Utah to extend the lead out to 15-8. Later, a 5-0 run from Oregon State saw the fourth set become just a 16-15 advantage for the Utes, but three points in a row from Utah gained some much-needed separation. Utah held on to a small lead the remainder of the set before Robinson's fifth kill of the frame gave the Utes set point, 24-20, and an attack error from the Beavers sent the match to a fifth set.

In the final set, Utah took an 8-5 lead after Lauren Jardine connected for a kill, but a 5-1 run from Oregon State put the Utes in a 10-9 deficit down the stretch. The teams went point for point until a solo block from Robinson gave Utah consecutive points to lead 12-11. Oregon State earned a sideout the next play, but an attack error from the visitors pushed Utah back in the lead by one point. The block party continued as it had all night and blocks from Robinson and Olsen would end the set 15-12 and earn Utah the five-set win.

Utah closes out the home schedule for senior day on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 1 p.m. MT against Oregon. Utah will honor its fifth year seniors Madelyn Robinson and Megan Yett, as well as senior Emily Smith, prior to the match. The match will be live streamed.