Senior middle blocker Chelsey Sandberg hit a career-high 14 kills in Tuesday's win over Weber State.
Oct. 6, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY - Senior middle blocker Chelsey Sandberg had a career-high 14 kills and the University of Utah volleyball staged a fourth-set comeback to earn a 3-1 victory (25-17, 23-25, 25-21, 28-26) over Weber State Tuesday at Crimson Court.
Utah (11-5) has won seven matches in a row over Weber State and improved to 20-2 at Crimson Court since 2008. The Utes are currently enjoying their longest win streak of the season. Their five-match streak began against Air Force on Sept. 17.
"I was pleased with how we fought and found a way to win," Utah head coach Beth Launiere said. "Our numbers were good. We were leading statistically after set two and the match was tied, 1-1, but it was just too up and down. I thought Weber State played really well in the fourth set but were able to pull out a win."
The Utes were down 24-21 late in the fourth set but put together three straight points to tie the set. The teams were knotted two more times, at 25 and 26, before a Bartkowiak kill and a WSU attack error gave the Utes a 28-26 match-clinching win. The Utes outhit the Wildcats .289 to .237 in the finale but were outblocked 5-2. Bartkowiak came up with six kills on seven attempts for a .857 clip in the final frame.
Sandberg established a new career high with 14 kills on 30 swings and four errors for a .333 hitting percentage. She collected her third double-figure-kill performance of the season and fourth of her career.
Bartkowiak posted a team-high 17 kills and hit double-digit kills for the fourth straight match and the 25th time in her career. She posted a career-high hitting .800 hitting percentage, needing only 20 swings to get her 17 kills while committing only one error. The Aurora, Ill., native also had seven digs from the back row and tied her season high at the net with six blocks.
Sophomore setter Abby Simmons dished out 28 assists and junior Stephanie Neeley had 21 assists. Neeley is 37 assists shy of passing Cheryl Tye (193-85) and moving into ninth place on the school's all-time assist list.
Defensively, libero Keisha Fisher posted a match-high 15 digs and has reached double-digits in 15 of this season's 16 matches. Sophomore middle blocker Danielle Killpack chipped in five blocks at the net for the Utes while Sandberg had three.
Weber State took four of the first five points of the match to take a 4-1 lead before Utah came back to tie the set for the first time at 5-5. WSU managed to get out to a 14-10 edge but Utah fought back with five straight points, including three straight blocks involving either Killpack or Bartkowiak, to assume its first lead of the match at 15-14. The Utes were able to assume control of the match with a 12-2 run, including six consecutive points, en route to a 25-17 first-set victory. The Utes compiled a .480 hitting percentage compared to just a .160 mark for the Wildcats, while Utah held a 4-1 edge in team blocks. Bartkowiak led the way with six kills on six swings for a perfect 1.000 hitting percentage to go along with three blocks. Sandberg connected on five kills on seven attempts with a single error for a .571 hitting mark.
Utah was 6-0 after winning the first set of a match.
Weber State once again raced out to a 4-1 lead to start the second set but Utah quickly scored five of the next six points to climb to a 6-5 lead. The set would be tied five more times before the Wildcats used a 6-0 spurt to assume a 17-11 advantage. The back-and-forth affair continued with Utah responding with a 7-1 stretch to tie the set once again at 18 points apiece. WSU put together another 4-0 to inch out to a 22-18 but could not prevent Utah from tying the set at 23 all. Unfortunately, the Wildcats were able to close the set by taking the final two points for a 25-23 win. Utah outhit WSU .192 to .097 in the set along with a 2-1 edge in blocks. Hibbert totaled four kills on six swings and Bartkowiak chipped in two more blocks.
The Utes got off to a solid start in the third set with a 5-2 edge and extended that margin to five points at 10-5. WSU came back with five unanswered points to force the second tie of the set at 10. Neither team led by more than three points until the Utes held a 22-18 advantage. The Utes were able to assume a 2-1 lead in the match after a 25-21 win. Sandberg had a team-high five kills in the set and Hibbert contributed four more kills, including the final two of the set. Utah was able to limit WSU to a .059 clip on the attack while hitting for a .250 mark itself. The Utes earned a slight 2-1 edge in team blocks for the second consecutive set.
Utah started at a 5-1 disadvantage to begin the fourth set and its deficit grew to as many as six points, at 15-9, before the Utes were able to the set at 18 points apiece with a 6-3 run. Weber State was able to jump out to a three-point lead, at 22-19 before the Utes were able to stage their comeback.
Weber State (3-14) was led by Chelsea Bair and Amy Fackrell, who both turned in 13 kills apiece. Fackrell also paced the Wildcats with a match-high-tying six blocks.
The Utes resume conference play against TCU Thursday at Crimson Court. First serve is set for 7 p.m.