Senior Cinthia Silva recorded her second straight double-double in Tuesday's win at Utah State.
Sept. 8, 2009
LOGAN, Utah - Sophomore outside hitter Sarah Hibbert registered a career-high 21 kills and the University of Utah volleyball team earned a five-set win against Utah State, 3-2 (23-25, 25-14, 25-20, 21-25, 15-10), Tuesday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Utah (6-2) outhit the Aggies, .237 to .126, and outblocked the hosts, 14 to 11.5, to earn their 43rd all-time win against Utah State. The Utes now own a 43-24 edge in the all-time series.
"I'm proud of the way we played tonight," Utah head coach Beth Launiere said. "It was a bit of a grind-it-out-type win. We have a lot of work to do early in the season, but I really liked our effort and composure. Sarah [Hibbert] had a good match offensively and Keisha [Fisher] and Cinthia [Silva] had a great match passing the ball. Hopefully our blocking will keep improving as well."
Three different Utes hit double-figures in kills for the match, led by Hibbert, who had 21 kills on 54 swings with eight errors for a .241 hitting percentage. Silva had her second double-double performance this season with 12 kills on 26 swings and only three errors for a .346 hitting mark to go along with 12 digs. Karolina Bartkowiak hit 10 kills to go along with eight blocks.
Sophomore Abby Simmons recorded her second career double-double, tying her season high with 30 assists turning in 12 digs. Junior Stephanie Neeley set up 20 assists and came up with seven digs on defense.
Fisher patrolled the back row for the Ute defense and turned in a season-high 21 digs.
After the Utes took the first two points of the first set, Utah State rattled off a 6-0 run early in the first set. Utah went on a 7-1 run to pull to a 12-12 tie and Utah took its first lead of the match at 15-14. The set became tied three more times before the Aggies scored three of the next four points to take a 22-19 lead. The Utes stormed back with a 3-0 run to tie the set at 22 points apiece but came up short, 25-23. Silva came up with five kills on eight swings, while Sandberg had three. Fisher pitched in five digs defensively while both Silva and Simmons had a pair apiece. Unfortunately, the Utes were outhit .273 to .212 and outblocked 4.5 to 1 in the opening set.
Utah went on a 7-1 run to assume a 19-10 lead to take control of the second set. The Utes led by as many as 11 points and would eventually earn a 25-14 second-set victory. Utah outblocked USU 6-2 in the set and was led by four blocks by Bartkowiak. Killpack and Sandberg both registered three blocks. Hibbert tallied five kills in the set and Bartkowiak and Silva added three apiece. Silva, Simmons, and Fisher registered five digs apiece.
Utah State led by as many six points before Utah used a 5-0 run to take a 17-14 advantage. The Utes scored seven unanswered points to take a 24-16 edge before earning the third-set victory at a 25-20 score. Hibbert had six more kills and Fisher once again led the way with five digs. Utah limited Utah State to a .128 hitting percentage but was outblocked 4-1 for the set.
The Aggies once again got off to a fast start by scoring the first five points of the fourth set, but the Utes answered with a 4-0 run to draw within two points at 8-6 and would eventually tie the set at 12 points each. USU proceeded to go on a seven-point run to assume a 19-12 edge. The Utes scored three consecutive points to edge within 19-15 but the Aggies held on for a 25-21 win in the fourth set. The Utes outhit (.242 to .220) and outblocked the Aggies (2-1) for the set, but could not pull out the win. Hibbert led the way with three kills and three other Utes (Sandberg, Killpack and Bartkowiak) had two kills apiece.
Utah State (4-3) was led by a team-high 15 kills on 50 swings for a .140 hitting percentage. Christine Morrill had a match-high 28 digs, while Chelsea Fowles dished out 42 assists.
The Utes conclude their six-match road stretch at the Santa Clara Invitational against No. 25 Arizona Friday at 7 p.m. PT, then face the host Broncos Saturday at 7 p.m. PT.