Morgan Odale registered nine kills and nine digs on Friday against Oregon.
Nov. 22, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY - Despite a solid nine-kill, nine-dig performance from senior outside hitter Morgan Odale, the University of Utah volleyball team fell in a four-set decision to Oregon (25-23, 21-25, 25-15, 25-15) on Friday in its return match to Crimson Court.
The program's first match in Crimson Court in nearly a calendar year (Nov. 23, 2012) saw Utah (18-11, 7-10 Pac-12) feature a balanced attack as four players had at least eight kills.
"The first two sets were a very high level of volleyball," Utah Head Coach Beth Launiere said. "Both teams put up a great effort and it was ground out defensive battle. [Oregon] stepped up its game in sets three and four and we didn't have an answer. We just couldn't get kills. [Oregon was] digging everything. We played great defense. [Oregon] played great defense, but it just got away from us in the end. I have to give credit to them."
Odale turned in nine kills and nine digs, just missing her ninth double-double of the year and the 30th of her career. She is fifth in school history with 1,277 career kills and stands just seven away from passing McKelle Stilson (1,283 from 1998-2001) for fourth in Utah history.
Dalton just missed recording her 17th match with 10 or more kills in 2013 and the 25th of her career and added five blocks and three digs, while Redd-Brandon tied her career high with six digs to go along with a pair of blocks.
Bateman tallied a team-high eight blocks, falling one short of her season-high mark and she also added four kills.
Junior outside hitter Chelsey Schofield tallied her 23rd double-digit-dig effort of the season and the 53rd of her career with a match-high-tying 18 digs that went with five kills and three blocks. The Provo, Utah native now has 918 career digs.
The first set started off with the Utes taking four of the first five points, which included a 4-0 run after UO took the opening point. The Ducks responded with a 6-2 spurt to tie the set three more times, the last coming at 8-8. Oregon scored six straight points to assume a 14-8 edge before Utah cut its deficit to one with an 8-2 run, 16-16, for the fifth tie of the set. Action would be tied four more times (17, 19, 21, 22 and 23) before consecutive Duck kills gave the visitors a 25-23 first-set victory. It was a tough, hard-fought first set that featured nine ties and four lead changes as Dalton had three kills on a .333 hitting percentage, while team blocks were even at 7.0 apiece with Bateman leading the way with five block assists one block solo.
The Utes are now 4-11 this season when dropping the first set of a match after coming back for a 3-1 win at Arizona State last Sunday in a similar scenario.
The second frame saw Oregon take two of the first three points before four straight Ute points gave the home squad a 5-2 edge. The Utes extended to a four-point advantage (11-7), but the Ducks came back with a 6-2 spurt to force the third tie of the set (13-13). Utah jumped back out to a three-point edge (16-13), but the back-and-forth play continued as Oregon returned the favor with three straight scores of its to even the set for the fourth time, 16-16. Play would be tied once more (17-17) as the Utes claimed five straight scores for a 22-17 advantage on the way to a 25-21 win to even the match. Three different Utes (Odale, Redd-Brandon and Moea'i) had four kills apiece in the set as the Utes outhit the Ducks, .200 to .111.
Oregon jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but the Utes put together a 4-1 run early in the third frame to grab a 4-3 lead. The action would be tied two more times (4, 5) before UO used an 8-0 run to seize a 13-5 edge. Utah countered with three straight scores to cut its deficit to five (13-8) and would pull to within as few as four (16-12), but Oregon wound up with a 25-15 victory. Schofield came up with three kills and two digs and freshman libero Tess Sutton tallied three digs in the third set alone.
The teams would be even twice (2-2) as the Ducks would climb out to a 9-2 edge after seven consecutive scores. The Utes would cut their deficit to five (14-9), but unfortunately could not avoid a 25-15 loss to the Ducks in the fourth.
This was only Utah's second four-set loss of the season as the Utes enjoy an 11-2 mark in four-set matches in 2013.
Oregon (16-11, 9-8 Pac-12) was led by a match-high 24 kills by Liz Brenner.
The Utes return to the Huntsman Center for Senior Day and their regular-season finale on Sunday against Oregon State. First serve is set for 12 p.m. MT and tickets can be purchased at utahtickets.com with a live video stream at utahutes.com.