Utah took seventh place Saturday at the Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship.
April 20, 2009
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The Utah volleyball team competed against a field full of nationally-ranked teams Saturday at the Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship in Riverside, Calif. The Utes took on tandems from No. 3 Nebraska, No. 4 Texas, No. 7 Hawai'i, No. 13 Southern California, No. 16 Utah and No. 19 San Diego en route to a seventh-place finish.
"The CBS College Beach Nationals was a valuable experience for our players," Utah head coach Beth Launiere said. "It was great competition at a great venue. The event allowed our team to compete in the sand as well as watch some of the top beach volleyball players on the AVP. It gave them a new perspective on the beach game as well as it improved many aspects of their indoor game. The AVCA, AVP and CBS College Sports put on a first-class event."
Lori Baird and Keisha Fisher went 1-2 in pool play after claiming a 21-10 win over UC-Riverside's Brittney Murrey and Dominique Cowling, but fell to Nebraska (21-10) and USC (21-14). In the `A' flight, Baird and Fisher did not record a victory against Nebraska (15-9, 15-10), North Carolina (21-18) and UC-Riverside (21-16) and took eighth place.
The duo of Kathryn Haynie and Chelsey Sandberg went 2-1 in pool play, starting with a 21-13 win over Nebraska's Jordan Wilberger and Kaitlynn James. The Utes dropped the middle match, 21-11 to USC, but came back for a 21-18 win over Kelly Simpson and Kelley Quinn of UC-Riverside. Haynie and Sandberg lost to San Diego (15-11, 15-9) and Nebraska (21-19) in flight `B', but defeated UC-Riverside (21-13) to earn a sixth-place finish.
The Utes scored a second consecutive 2-1 record in pool play as Abby Simmons and Karolina Bartkowiak fell in their first match, 21-10 to Nebraska, but came back to put together two straight wins. Simmons and Bartkowiak dominated the USC trio of Kimmee Roleder, Alli Hillgren and Kati Cattaneo, 21-7, then edged Katherine Castillo and Tonbara Youpele of UC-Riverside, 21-19. In flight `C', the duo started by dropping matches to USC (15-12, 15-13) and San Diego (21-14), but came back to take seventh place with a 21-14 win over UC-Riverside.
The final group of Sarah Hibbert, Stephanie Shardlow and Emillie Toone did not pull out a victory in pool play, losing to Nebraska (21-17), USC (21-18) and UC-Riverside (21-13), but took sixth place in flight `D.' The trio started with a 15-10, 17-15 loss to Texas, but beat UC-Riverside, 21-18, to advance to the fifth-place match against San Diego. Unfortunately, Utah's trio lost to the Toreros, 21-7. The teams earned points for their finishes in each flight, top flights weighted more heavily. USC claimed the team title with 37 points, while Nebraska and Texas finished second (34 points) and third (32 points), respectively. Hawai'i and San Diego finished tied for fourth place (23 points), while North Carolina took sixth place (14 points). Utah finished seventh with 10 points and UC-Riverside was eighth (7 points).
Fans can view a photo gallery from the weekend by clicking here.
The event closes Utah's spring exhibition schedule as it prepares to defend its Mountain West Conference title in the fall.