Senior outside hitter Morgan Odale came up with 14 digs on Sunday against Oregon State.
Nov. 24, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah's senior class of outside hitter Morgan Odale and middle blocker Erin Redd-Brandon combined for 18 digs, 14 kills and 10 blocks to lead the University of Utah volleyball team to a 3-1 win in its regular-season home finale against Oregon State (23-25, 25-18, 25-17, 26-24) on Sunday in the Huntsman Center.
Utah (19-11, 8-10 Pac-12) outhit Oregon State, .216 to .101, and earned a 14.0-10.0 edge in team blocks over the Beavers.
"Nothing is easy this time of year for anyone," Utah Head Coach Beth Launiere said. "Oregon State played with pride and they played hard. We were fighting early on, then dialed in and got it done. Both teams worked hard. It wasn't an easy win, but we grinded it out."
Odale turned in 14 digs for her 17th double-figure-dig performance and the 52nd of her career to go with five kills.
"Our focus and discipline increased toward the end of the match and we got things done," Odale said. "We talked in the locker room about what needed to happen, discipline, focus and getting the ball where it needed to go."
Redd-Brandon registered a match-high nine blocks and eight kills to go along with four digs.
"It was an emotional day," Redd-Brandon said. "You definitely have to prepare mentally for this game. It's been an amazing journey and to see it come to a close is emotional. It was cool to see the respect we got from the team and fans.
Now, we have to focus on preparing for Colorado. We have to play a solid game to beat them. They're a good team that plays well at home."
"Both of our seniors are very unique because they were both four-year starters so their contributions to this program have been huge," Launiere said. "They've had a big impact. These two work hard and are good people. They're going to be tough to lose."
Junior right-side hitter Shelby Dalton had 10 kills to go with four blocks and three digs for her 17th double-digit-effort of the year and the 25th of her career for her third straight double-digit-dig performance.
Junior middle blocker Bailey Bateman hit .471 for nine kills with just one error on 17 attempts to go with five blocks. Junior right-side hitter Makenzie Moea'i added six kills for a .308 efficiency to go with a season-high five blocks and three digs.
Junior libero Lea Adolph came up with 10 digs for her 11th double-digit-dig effort in 2013 and the 28th of her career.
OSU took three of the first four points of the opening set before Utah came back to force the first tie of the match at 3-3. The Beavers regained a 6-3 lead with three straight scores and would lead by as many as four (10-6). The Utes tied the set for the second time (10-10) and would grab their first lead (11-10) thanks to a 5-0 run. Play would be tied three more times, the last coming at 15-15, before OSU jumped to an 18-15 edge. Utah would then come back to within a point four times (20-19, 21-20, 22-21 and 23-22) before equaling the set for the seventh time at 23 points apiece. Schofield had eight digs and four kills in the opener, while Bateman had four kills with a .429 hitting efficiency.
Utah is 5-11 when dropping the first set of a match and improved to a 12-2 mark this season in four-set contests.
The Utes grabbed five of the first six points in the second frame and would lead by as many as five (9-4). The Beavers countered with three straight scores to bring Utah's lead to two (9-7), but the Utes quickly worked their lead to 10 (19-9) via a 10-2 run on the way to a 25-18 victory to even the match. Dalton, Schofield and Redd-Brandon had three kills each as Utah outhit OSU in the second, .300 to .051.
"We kept working hard," Launiere said. "[Adolph] made a big difference. Ball control was a little discombobulated, but once she came in, we got passing settled. We got the ball to [Bateman] and [Redd-Brandon] in the middle and the game started opening up. We made a lot of adjustments on the little things."
There were a pair of ties in the third set before four consecutive Ute scores gave the home team a 6-2 edge. Utah held onto its four-point lead (13-9) before a 3-0 Oregon State run pulled the visitors within a point (13-12). The Utes responded with a 10-3 stretch to push their lead to eight (23-15) en route to claiming a 25-17 victory. The Utes outhit the Beavers .414-.059 and earned a 4.0-1.0 edge in team blocks. Dalton and Schofield had three kills apiece in the third, while Redd-Brandon came up with four blocks.
Action was tied three times, the last one coming 3-3, early in the fourth frame before a 3-0 Utah run gave the Utes a 6-3 advantage. The Utes led by as many as four (15-11) before a 3-0 Beaver run made the set 14-13 in favor of Utah. OSU evened the set for the fourth time (16-16) before regaining the lead at 17-16. The Beavers led by a 20-18 score, but Utah launched a 3-0 spurt to jump to a late 21-20 lead. Play would be tied four more times, the last coming at 24 all, and a Beaver attack error
Oregon State (9-20, 0-18 Pac-12) was led by a 13-kill, 12-dig performance from Lila Toner.
"We have to play well against Colorado [on Wednesday]," Launiere said. "This time of the year is always tough and it's tough to win on the road. We've done well on the road this year, we can do it."
The Utes begin their final week of regular-season play at Colorado on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The match from the Coors Events Center will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks (Regional).