Whitney Webb led Utah with 21 kills against Tennessee.
Aug. 25, 2007
OMAHA, Neb. - The No. 21 Utah women's volleyball team dropped a five-game thriller to Tennessee, 3-2, to close out the AVCA Showcase on Saturday, Aug. 25.
With the match tied 2-2 after four games, Utah came out strong in game five, quickly taking a 5-1 lead. Tennessee took a timeout to regroup and began to chip away at the Utes lead. The turning point of the match came as the Lady Vols went on a 5-1 run to tie the game at 13-13 with help from kills by Nikkie Fowler and Milan Clark. The two squads matched each other for the next several points, reaching 16-16. Utah made two attack errors to give Tennessee the points it needed to end the game, 18-16.
Senior Whitney Webb led Utah with 21 kills for a new career-high, while junior Kathryn Haynie tied her career-high with 20 kills. Haynie also set a career-high with three service aces. Freshman Keisha Fisher had 59 assists, while senior Connie Dangerfield, who earned all-tournament team honors, tallied 22 digs.
"We learned some things from this match," head coach Beth Launiere said. "We made big plays then we didn't make plays. I think it's a sign of our young team, and it's early in the season. (Tennessee) was up and down just like we were. I was pleased with so many of the things we did tonight. It's good to be in these positions so we can learn from them."
Utah came out strong in game one, quickly taking a 5-0 lead with help from a kill by Webb and a Haynie ace. The lead grew to 10-2 as Kate Robison and Lori Baird each had a kill and a block assist during the run. Haynie led the team with four kills and three service aces en route to a 30-10 victory.
Game two started out just the opposite way for the Utes, as they fell behind early, 6-0. Webb started the comeback for Utah, recording four kills to cut the lead to 7-4. The Utes stayed with the Volunteers before a 6-0 run which included three kills from Haynie gave Utah its first lead of the game, 19-18. Tennessee regained the lead in the final points, going on a 5-0 run to take a 26-23 lead that they would not relinquish for a 30-25 win.
Game three also saw Utah jump out early, 8-2, led by Robison's three kills. The team cruised to the 30-23 victory, as Tennessee came no closer than three points during the match. In the fourth game, Tennessee was able to make a few small runs during the beginning and middle of the match, but Utah consistently persevered to keep pace, coming within one point, 22-21 after a kill by Haynie. However, the Lady Vols closed out the fourth game with an 8-2 run to take the win, 30-23.
For Tennessee, Clark had 16 kills, while Chloe Goldman tallied 23 assists.
Utah returns to action on Friday, Aug. 31, against North Carolina at the Purdue Mortar Board Tournament, beginning at 5 p.m.