Junior libero Lea Adolph turned in her seventh double-digit-dig effort of the 2013 season.
Sept. 14, 2013
OREM, Utah - With nine consecutive victories to start the 2013 season, the University of Utah volleyball team is now off to its best start in school history after picking up a 3-1 win (25-12, 23-25, 25-8, 25-21) over Idaho State on Saturday morning in the third match of the Wolverine Classic at the UVU Activities Center.
Utah is now 9-0 this season and six of those wins have come in four-set decisions. The Utes turned in a .344 hitting percentage, while limiting the Bengals to a .102 clip. Utah earned a 12.5-5.5 advantage in team blocks over ISU. Eight of Utah's nine opponents this season have hit under .200.
Junior outside hitter Chelsey Schofield had 17 kills and nine digs against the Bengals, barely missing her second consecutive double-double and fourth of this season. She only committed three errors during 39 attempts for a .359 hitting percentage in the match.
"It's nice [to be off to a good start], but the most important was getting the win," Utah Head Coach Beth Launiere said. "Today was really significant for us because our system really started to solidify, both offensively and defensively. We started to get into a flow and everyone with everyone understanding what we were doing and being on the same page. Idaho State challenged us. They are a very good team that plays great defense so we had to battle."
Senior middle blocker Erin Redd-Brandon tied her season with 12 kills with a match-high .579 hitting percentage (12-1-19) to go with nine blocks, barely missing her second double-digit-block effort of the year. The Spanish Fork, Utah native has had nine blocks in each of the last two matches.
Senior outside hitter Morgan Odale turned in 12 digs to go with nine kills on 18 attempts without an error for a .500 hitting percentage. The Star, Idaho native has four double-figure matches in both kills and digs this season.
Utah setters Kendall Cygan and Kalee Kirby handed out 51 assists for the Ute attack. Cygan gave out 28 assists to go with five digs and tied her season high with a pair of aces. Kirby distributed 23 assists and contributed three digs.
Utah got off to a quick start in the opening set by building an 8-3 lead and never look back on the way to a 13-point win in the opening set. Utah hit .458 in the opener, compared to a -.032 mark for the Bengals and also held a 4.5-0.0 edge in team blocks. Redd-Brandon hit four kills on six swings without an error for a .667 hitting percentage to go along with three blocks.
The second set was tied eight times, the last coming at 8-8, before five consecutive Bengal scores gave ISU a 13-8 edge. The Bengals led by as many as eight (21-13) before the Utes came back with three straight to pull within five (21-16). The Utes fought off five straight match points, but could not avoid a 25-23 defeat to even the match at one set apiece. Schofield led the Ute attack with six kills and a .357 hitting percentage.
The Utes scored three of the first four points at the outset of the third frame and extended their lead to as many as 10 (12-2) after going on a 9-0 tear, which was part of a 17-2 spurt. After that critical run, Utah cruised to a 25-8 win. Utah hit .577 in the set and held ISU to a .000 hitting percentage in addition to a 4.0-0.0 edge in team blocks. Schofield had six kills on nine swings for a .667 clip, while Redd-Brandon turned in four more blocks.
In the fourth set, Utah jumped out to a 5-1 edge, but ISU came with four straight points to even the set for the second time at five points apiece. There would be 10 more ties, the last coming at 20-20, before a furious Utah rally that included a Redd-Brandon kill and two service aces, gave the Utes a 25-21 to clinch the match.
Idaho State (6-4) was led by 11 kills and 10 digs from Alydia Fields-Grimm.
The Utes face host Utah Valley tonight at 7 p.m. MT. Tune into a live video stream of the match by going to uvu.edu/uvutv and clicking on 'UVU Athletics', while live stats will be available at wolverinegreen.com. The match will also be televised live on UVU-TV.