Senior middle blocker Erin Redd-Brandon hit 12 kills on a .524 hitting percentage on Saturday at Penn State.
Dec. 7, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Senior middle blocker Erin Redd-Brandon totaled 12 kills on 21 swings with only one error for a .524 hitting percentage, but the University of Utah volleyball team lost in three sets at No. 2 national seed Penn State (25-14, 25-15, 25-11) on Saturday in Rec Hall.
Utah (21-13) held an 8.0-7.0 edge in team blocks over Penn State as junior middle blocker Bailey Bateman tied for match-high honors with five blocks. Bateman also pitched in four kills.
"We were able to get some blocks and serve pretty well," Utah Head Coach Beth Launiere said. "We were able to get them in a little bit of trouble, but we had trouble getting kills. That was the main thing. They got on some runs of points because we were just struggling to get a sideout at times and getting kills.
"Our two middles were very significant with what we did do tonight. Erin had a huge match and Bailey got some big blocks for us. It didn't go as we would have liked, but Penn State played well and we just didn't sustain our execution."
Redd-Brandon posted her team-high 12 kills in addition to three blocks. The Spanish Fork, Utah native had 10 or more kills in 15 matches this season and 67 during her Utah career.
Senior outside hitter Morgan Odale totaled nine digs and was just one shy of her 15th double-digit-effort and the 67th of her Ute career.
Junior Makenzie Moea'i came up with four blocks to go with three kills.
Bateman had a kill for the first point of the set before a 6-0 Penn State run and the Nittany Lions would lead by as many as 12 (22-10) on the way to a 25-14 first-set victory. The Utes outblocked the Nittany Lions, 3.0-1.0, in the opener and Redd-Brandon had four kills on six swings for a .667 hitting percentage, while Bateman had three blocks.
The Utes grabbed two of the first three points in the second frame, but the set ended up tied two more times, at 2-2 and 3-3, before a 6-0 Nittany Lion run gave PSU an 8-3 lead. PSU would then extend their advantage to as many as nine (14-5) before a 4-0 Ute run brought Utah back to within five (14-9). Unfortunately, PSU was able to work its edge to back to 10 on the way to a second-set win by the same margin, 25-15. Redd-Brandon added five kills on eight swings in the second set alone.
Penn State took the first three points of the third frame and would grow it lead to as many as 13 (24-11) on the way to a third-set, match-clinching win by the same margin, 25-11.
No. 2 seed Penn State (30-2) was led by a 17-kill, six-dig effort from Megan Courtney.