Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah Volleyball Wins 10th Straight, Takes Wolverine Classic Title

Senior middle blocker Erin Redd-Brandon was named the MVP of the Wolverine Classic.

Senior middle blocker Erin Redd-Brandon was named the MVP of the Wolverine Classic.

Sept. 14, 2013

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OREM, Utah - Senior middle blocker Erin Redd-Brandon was named Wolverine Classic MVP and the University of Utah volleyball won its 10th consecutive match in a 3-1 decision over Utah Valley (25-19, 25-21, 27-29, 25-15) on Saturday at the UVU Activities Center.

Utah (10-0) outhit UVU, .223-.132 and held a 16.0-10.0 advantage in team blocks over UVU. The Utes had three with double-figures in kills over the Wolverines in the tournament finale.

There have been seven win streaks of 10 or more in school history, six of which have come under Launiere. The school record is 25 consecutive from Sept. 3-Nov. 24, 2006. The Utes won 12 matches in a row from Sept. 11-Oct. 16, 2004. There have been three different 11-match win streaks in Utah history, from Nov. 3-17, 1978, Sept. 6-Oct. 2, 1997 and Oct. 30-Dec. 6, 2008.

This is also the third consecutive non-conference tournament title the Utes have claimed in 2013.

"These tournaments are a grind," Utah Head Coach Beth Launiere said. "You just have to be willing to grind it out and that's what we did. Every team is good and Utah Valley was on its home court so we just had to deal with everything that was being thrown at us. We did that and here we are."

Redd-Brandon tied for team-high honors with 12 kills on a .381 hitting percentage to go with a season-high-tying 12 blocks.

Junior middle blocker Bailey Bateman hit a season-high 12 kills with just three errors on 22 attempts for a .409 hitting percentage to go with three blocks.

Junior outside hitter Makenzie Moea'i turned in her third double-digit-kill output of the season with 11 kills and also had three blocks. Classmate Shelby Dalton contributed nine kills with seven blocks and four digs.

Setter Kalee Kirby dished out 24 assists and dug up nine Wolverine attack attempts, while sophomore Kendall Cygan handed out 23 digs and had 11 digs. Cygan also set a new season high with 11 digs.

Junior outside hitter Chelsey Schofield and senior outside hitter Morgan Odale joined Redd-Brandon on the Wolverine Classic All-Tournament Team. Odale registered six kills, eight digs and a block in the finale, while Schofield had 11 digs and seven kills versus host UVU.

The Utes edged out to a 4-2 edge early in the match, but the Wolverines came back to force the third tie of the frame at six all. The set would be tied four more times (12-12), but Utah came up with a 4-0 spurt to grab a 16-12 advantage. The Utes built their lead to as many as six (21-15) after going a 5-1 run and would take the first set by the same margin, 25-19. The Utes limited the Wolverines to a .094 hitting percentage, while going for a .231 clip. Odale, Bateman and Schofield each had three kills apiece. Cygan had seven assists and five digs from her setter position.

UVU grabbed a 3-1 lead to start the second set and led by as many as four (6-2) before Utah countered with a 9-1 stretch to grab its first lead of the set at 11-7. The Utes maintained their four-point edge until the 15-11 juncture before the Wolverines put together four straight scores to tie the set for the third time at 15 points apiece. The back-and-forth continued as Utah countered with three consecutive points to assume at 19-16 edge and would hold on for a 25-21 victory in the second set. Redd-Brandon had five kills, while Schofield came up with five digs.

There were 10 ties in the third set before four consecutive Wolverine scores gave the home team a 20-16 lead. Utah countered with five straight scores to regain the lead (21-20) and would hold a 23-21 advantage before UVU responded with back-to-back scores to tie the frame for the 12th time. The set would be even four more times (24-24, 25-25, 26-26, 27-27) before consecutive UVU scores gave the Wolverines a 29-27 victory to extend the match. UVU earned a 6.0-2.0 edge in team blocks and a .286-.195 advantage in hitting. Redd-Brandon had five kills on seven swings with just one error for a .571 hitting percentage to bolster the Ute attack.

In the fourth frame, the teams would be even four times, the last time coming at 7-7, as the Utes used a 7-1 stretch to earn an 11-7 edge. Utah closed the match strong with a 9-2 run to grab a 23-13 advantage before clinching the match with a 25-15 victory. Bateman had three kills and Redd-Brandon registered five blocks.

Utah Valley (2-8) was led by a match-high 14 kills from Kalani Norris.

"Both [Idaho State and Utah Valley] are scrappy teams," Launiere said. "They're both good on defense. Idaho State is going to finish very well in the Big Sky [Conference] and Utah Valley was on its home court so we just had to handle what came at us."

Up next for the Utes is a Deseret First Duel match against BYU on Tuesday in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The match will be televised nationally by the Pac-12 Networks with Anne Marie Anderson on the play-by-play call with Amy Gant providing the color analysis.

 

 

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