Utah Volleyball Falls Short At #25 Washington State
PULLMAN, Wash. – Utah Volleyball couldn't contain the No. 25-ranked Washington State Cougars on Friday night, falling in three sets (20-25, 12-25, 18-25) in Bohler Gym. The Utes couldn't get in rhythm offensively after hitting .159 in the match, while the hot-hitting Cougars recorded a .354 hitting percentage to earn the win in Pullman, Wash.
Utah played from behind to open the match after Washington State scored four of the first five points. The Utes gave up a 4-1 run to the Cougs later on to trail 13-7 and be forced to use a timeout. Out of the break, Utah found some momentum and scored six of the next seven points, cutting the lead to just 14-13.
Washington State responded with another 4-1 run to lead 18-14, and would go on to maintain a lead of three to four points before consecutive points from Ute attack errors finished off the 25-20 win in the opening set. The lopsided defensive battle in the first set saw the Utes collect five blocks compared to just one block from the Cougs, however, Utah trailed 12-5 in digs in the opening frame. Allie Olsen led the team with four kills on five swings, while three Utes each added a pair of kills.
The Utes played from behind once again in the second set early on as the Cougars jumped out to a 10-4 lead. Later trailing by eight points, Utah put together a 3-0 run to begin chipping away, but a 3-0 run from Washington State erased the Ute efforts. Washington State piled on the large runs as the set continued after Utah struggled to find a kill and rolled to a 25-12 victory.
The trend continued for the Utes in the third set after falling behind 11-8, being forced to play from behind for another set. Utah bounced back from the deficit and cut the lead to one point after a 3-1 run. Throughout the majority of the set, Utah managed to keep the Washington State lead to just one to two points, but could never take the lead against the home team.
Consecutive points from the Cougars eventually pushed the lead to three points, but an attack error gave Utah the sideout to trail just two points, 19-17. From there, Washington State closed the set on a 6-1 run behind four kills, a block and a Ute hitting error. Robinson ended the match with five kills on seven swings in the final frame, while KJ Burgess added in three blocks in the third set.
Robinson totaled nine kills on Friday night, while Burgess added six kills and six blocks. Olsen added five kills on .571 hitting with a pair of blocks, and Kamry Bailey added nine digs for the Ute defense. Utah totaled 11 blocks, which marks the most in a three-set match for the Utes this season. Grace Hammond posted 13 assists and Emily Smith added 11 assists.
Utah travels to Seattle this Sunday for a matchup against No. 21-ranked Washington. The Utes and Huskies will play at 1 p.m. MT at Alaska Airlines Arena. The match will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.