Erin Redd-Brandon and the Utes downed Yale in four sets during the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Jan. 23, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah volleyball team returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008 and earned a 3-1 first-round victory over Yale in University Park, Pa. This was Utah's first time in the tournament since 2008 and the 11th appearance in school history. All 11 trips have come since 1998.
The Utes finished 26th in the NCAA's final RPI rankings and ended with a 21-13 overall record. Utah posted a 9-11 mark in Pac-12 Conference play, which tied with Colorado for seventh in the league standings. This was also Utah's first season with 20 or more wins since 2008 and the 14th under Ute head coach Beth Launiere.
First-Round Recap: Four Utes reached double-figures in kills and Utah defeated Yale (27-29, 25-15, 26-24, 25-16) on Friday, Dec. 6 in an NCAA Tournament First-Round match in Rec Hall. Utah outhit Yale for the match, .342-.226, and outblocked the Bulldogs, 12.0-8.0, to go with a 70-64 edge in digs.
Utes on the Block: Utah was second in the conference with 2.89 blocks per set and the Utes were ranked ninth in the NCAA. Utah outblocked its opponents 26 times through 34 matches this season. The Utes were 21-5 when outblocking their opponents in 2013.
Dalton Earns Honorable Mention AVCA All-American: Junior right-side hitter Shelby Dalton (Moab, Utah) was named to the AVCA's All-American Honorable Mention list and All-Pacific South First Team. Dalton led the team with 2.62 kills per set this season, finished second on the squad with a .276 hitting percentage (minimum five attack attempts per match). Dalton was third on the team, 12th in the Pac-12 and 129th in the NCAA with 1.10 blocks per set in addition to earning a spot on the Pac-12 All-Academic Second Team.
Bragging on (Redd) Brandon: Senior middle blocker Erin Redd-Brandon (Spanish Fork, Utah) finished the season second in the Pac-12 and 20th in the NCAA with 1.39 blocks per set. Redd-Brandon hit for a team-high .329 percentage this season, which ranked 14th in the Pac-12 and 120th in the country. She went for 2.36 kills per set and owned a .325 hitting percentage against league opponents. She posted four double-doubles this season and seven for her career with 11 double-digit-kill performances and four contests with 10 or more blocks.
Redd-Brandon received Utah's first-ever weekly award from the Pac-12 as she was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week and earned the award twice this season. She was first recognized on Sept. 2 after finishing the opening weekend of the season with a team-high 1.69 blocks per set, which included 22 block assists, to lead the Ute defense at the net on the way to a 3-0 record and a Utah Classic title
Redd-Brandon earned second Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week award on Oct. 28 after leading an impressive Utah block last weekend to help the Utes claim their first-ever Pac-12 weekend sweep with victories over ASU and No. 25 Arizona.
Redd-Brandon was fourth in school history in both career total blocks (574) and career block assists (542). As the 14th member of Utah's 1,000-kill club, Redd-Brandon's 1,132 career kills stands ninth in school history.
Morgan Maxes Out: Senior outside hitter Morgan Odale (Star, Idaho) turned in her 10th double-double on the year (31st of her career) Dec. 6 against Yale as she had 12 digs and 11 kills. Odale had 19 double-figure-dig efforts in 2013 and 54 during her career to go with 14 outings of 10 or more kills this season and 66 during her career as a Ute. This season, Odale turned in 2.80 digs and 2.29 kills per set and served 24 aces. Odale was third in school history with 1,322 career kills and had 1,200 career digs, which is fifth in school history.
Schofield For 1,000: Junior outside hitter Chelsey Schofield (Provo, Utah) became the 15th member of Utah's 1,000-kill club Dec. 6 against Yale and currently has 1,011 career kills. She also has 974 career digs. Schofield was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 14 after going for a team-high 4.14 digs per set at No. 8 Stanford and California. She also tied for the team lead with 2.57 kills per set to go with 0.43 blocks and 0.14 service aces per set.
Blocking With Bateman: Junior middle blocker Bailey Bateman (Hooper, Utah) came up with a match-high seven blocks and added seven kills on a .294 efficiency on Dec. 6 against Yale. She then added a team-high five blocks against Penn State on Dec. 7. Bateman was sixth in the final Pac-12 stats with 1.27 blocks per set. She was seventh in the Pac-12 with 1.26 blocks per set in league matches. She led Utah or tied for the team-high in 17 matches this season, including six of the last eight contests.