Stephanie Neeley and the Utes host Cal Poly tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Aug. 31, 2009
The No. 17 University of Utah volleyball team will put its 12-match regular-season win streak on the line during a busy four-match week hosting Cal Poly Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Crimson Court. The Utes hit the road for the first time this season Friday and Saturday for the Utah Valley Invitational in Orem, Utah. Utah opens the event Friday against host UVU at 7 p.m. Saturday's action kicks off with a 10 a.m. match against Washington State and a 4:30 p.m. match against Missouri concludes the event for the Utes.
Fans can tune into Nate Terry's play-by-play call of Tuesday's match by clicking on the `Live Audio' link on utahutes.com. Live stats of the Cal Poly match can be viewed by following the `Gametracker' link.
Live stats for all three matches this weekend at the UVU Invite can be accessed by clicking the `Gametracker' links on the volleyball schedule page at wolverinegreen.com.
Also please be sure to follow Utah Volleyball on Twitter at http://twitter.com/utahvolleyball and the Utah Volleyball Blog at http://utahvolleyball.blogspot.com.
Utah Classic champions
The Utes went undefeated last weekend at their season-opening tournament, the Utah Classic. Utah defeated Arizona State, 3-0 (25-15,25-20,25-21), UC Riverside, 3-0 (25-23,25-20,25-21), and Cincinnati, 3-2 (24-26,25-21,25-17,22-25,15-13). Utah is currently enjoying a 13-match home win streak that began after a 3-2 (22-25, 25-21, 25- 19, 19-25, 12-15) loss to Purdue Sept. 13, 2008 as part of the Utah Classic.
`Barto' Brings It
Utah junior opposite hitter Karolina Bartkowiak (Aurora, Ill.) earned her first career Mountain West Conference Player of the Week award after helping the No. 17 Utes get off to a 3-0 start this season. Bartkowiak was named the 2009 Utah Classic MVP after posting a pair of double-doubles (the first of her career), including double-figure-kill performances in all three matches, while helping the Utes take the tournament title. Bartkowiak led Utah with 2.91 kills per set and committed just 10 errors on the attack while taking 66 swings for a .333 hitting percentage.
Bartkowiak registered 11 kills, 10 digs and four blocks in a five-set victory over Cincinnati on Saturday. She also had a double-figure-kill performance against UC Riverside, posting 10 kills to go along with four digs and two blocks. Bartkowiak recorded 11 kills and a career-high 11 digs for the first double-double of her career as Utah earned a 3-0 win over Arizona State.
Utes in the polls
Utah remained ranked 17th in the 2009 AVCA Coaches Top-25 Preseason Poll, released Aug. 31. Utah appeared in Volleyball Magazine's preseason poll at 19th, while Cal Poly received votes in both polls.
Utah has three matches against teams receiving votes in the poll during the regular season, beginning Sept. 12 at Santa Clara, which received 31 votes. Utah hosts No. 14 Oregon Sept. 15 and travels to Long Beach State, which received 76 votes, for a Nov. 28 match. Colorado State was the other MWC team in the poll as the Rams received four votes in the poll.
Launiere nears 400 victories
As the fifth coach in school history, Utah head coach Beth Launiere has compiled a 394-212 (.650) mark in over 19 seasons at Utah, the only school in which she has been head coach. After taking over in 1990, the three-time AVCA West Region and MWC Coach of the Year has 63 percent of the program's victories over the first 34 seasons.
The Utes are 14-20 during the program's first 34 seasons in the first match away from home, including a 9-10 record under Launiere.
Scouting Cal Poly
Cal Poly (0-3): The Mustangs started their 2009 season with three losses at Colorado State's season-opening tournament, the Asics Classic. Cal Poly lost the opener to Oregon State in four sets, then suffered consecutive 3-0 defeats at the hands of Pepperdine and CSU. Molly Pon led the way with a team-high 28 kills over the weekend for a 3.11 kill-per-set average. The Mustangs were outhit .248 to .156 and outblocked 20-11.5 on the weekend.
Scouting the UVU Invite field
Utah Valley (3-0): The host Wolverines opened their inaugural season as members of the NCAA in impressive fashion by winning the Weber State Invitational. UVU began its season by defeating Gonzaga on Friday, 3-1, then went on to sweep WSU before finishing off the weekend with a four-set victory over Utah State.
Washington State (3-0): Washington State won its own tournament, the Nike Cougar Invitational, last weekend by defeating UC Davis, 3-1, Montana State, 3-1, and Portland, 3-0. The Cougars were led by Nike Cougar Invitational MVP Cassie Robbins had 13 blocks for a 1.18 block-per-set average through three matches. Jackie Albright posted 4.45 kills and 3.27 digs per set.
Missouri (3-0): Missouri claimed the Tiger Invitational title after gaining sweeps over Texas State, Ole Miss and BYU. Junior Rosa Medrano earned the tournament's MVP award after leading the Tigers with 43 kills while hitting .221 with 28 digs and three blocks.
Utes picked to win MWC
Utah was selected to repeat as MWC champions in the 2009 Preseason Coaches Poll voted on by a panel including the nine conference head coaches and selected media. In addition, junior opposite hitter and co-captain Bartkowiak was named to the Preseason All-MWC Team.
Utes Go International
Launiere was selected as an assistant coach for the U.S. Women's National Team at the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Miao Li, Chinese Tapei.