Junior middle blocker Erin Redd was 16th in the NCAA with 1.37 blocks per set last season.
Aug. 15, 2012
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With the first serve of the 2012 Utah volleyball season nine days away, utahutes.com offers a position-by-position breakdown of the Ute roster preps fans for the upcoming year as well as a look at the schedule for Utah's second season in the Pac-12 conference. This is the third in a five-part series about the student-athletes Utah has at each position heading into the season as well as the competition they will face.
Utah's Middle Blockers Set Foundation of Success for Utah Volleyball
A pillar of success throughout Utah's winning tradition has been tenacious defense at the net, led by Ute middle blockers. The tradition continues in 2011 as the Utes finished the season fifth in the NCAA and third in the Pac-12 with 3.00 blocks per set and turned in a 2.90 average against league foes.
Despite the loss of a key starter, Utah head coach Beth Launiere feels confident that Utah's stellar blocking at the net will continue in 2012.
The Utes are not satisfied with strictly being defensive threats at the net, either, as offense took over the main focus during spring practice.
"We didn't work on blocking very much at all [this offseason], because we made such strides in that area the year before that," Launiere said. "We have all of our personnel back who block so that area will hold strong. We worked on our offense a lot more this spring. Blocking is something that we're good at and certainly don't want to lose, but we want to keep being good as we keep getting better in other areas."
Middle Blocker Player Notes:
So. MB 6-3 West Hooper, Utah Fremont H.S.
One of the most improved players during spring practice ... waited her turn during last season and has taken full advantage when her opportunity came this offseason ... exciting, dynamic and fast middle, a little bit different than the style than we've had in the past ... quicker than most middles and still plays the game high ... a competitor who loves to win.
Fr. MB 6-1 Irvine, Calif. Woodbridge H.S.
A tremendous athlete who works very hard and has a great attitude ... wants to learn ... makes strides all of the time when she's in the gym ... has a great attitude and works hard.
Jr. MB 6-3 Spanish Fork, Utah Spanish Fork H.S.
Two-year starter who was one of the top blockers in the Pac-12 last year ... has assumed a mentor role to help younger players ... believes that she is one of the best players in the Pac-12 ... will be a focal point of the Ute attack, while continuing to be one of the conference's top blockers this season.