Kathryn Haynie served a career-high five aces in Utah's 3-2 win over Santa Clara.
Sept. 2, 2008
Utah Begins Road Slate At New Mexico State Tournament
The Utah volleyball team (2-0) takes to the road for the first time this season, heading to Las Cruces, N.M., for four matches in the New Mexico State Tournament. Utah will face #4 Texas at 4 p.m., Friday at the Pan American Center, then will have a pair of matches Saturday against Florida Gulf Coast (10 a.m.) and Houston (4:30 p.m.) before wrapping up the event against the host school, New Mexico State at 7 p.m., Sunday.
Utah won both matches of its season-opening home tournament, defeating Utah Valley, 3-0 (25-17, 25-10, 25-22) during the first night of the Ute Invitational Friday at Crimson Court. The Utes then defeated Santa Clara, 3-2 (25-23, 24-26, 20-25, 25-19, 15-13).
Scouting The New Mexico State Tournament Field
Fourth-ranked Texas split its two matches at the AVCA Showcase in Omaha, Neb., last weekend. The Longhorns swept then-fourth-ranked Southern California in their season-opener (27-25, 25-15, 30-28) and dropped a five-set decision to then-second-ranked Stanford (25-17, 25-19, 25-27, 20-25, 15-10) in their second match of the event. Sophomore outside hitter Juliann Faucette led the way on the attack with 2.62 kills per set and also ranked second on the squad with 2.88 digs per set. Utah's only other meeting with Texas resulted in a 2-0 loss on Sept. 29, 1979 at the BYU Invitational.
Florida Gulf Coast went 1-2 at the Hilton/RTP NCCU Tournament, picking up a 3-0 victory over Elon Saturday after losing to Maine and UNC Asheville Friday. Dave Nichols is starting his first season as head coach of the Eagles. This will be the first-ever match between the schools.
The Houston Cougars are 2-1 this year after notching 3-1 wins over Marquette and Tennessee Chattanooga at the Marquette Kickoff Tourney. In between, the Cougars dropped a five-set heart-breaker to Tenneessee. The Utes are 1-4 all-time against the Cougars with Utah claiming its lone victory in a five-set match on Sept. 12, 1980 in Salt Lake City.
The Utes will meet New Mexico State for the 33rd time on Sunday. Utah has won 15 of those meetings. The Aggies took a 3-1 win in last season's match in Salt Lake City. So far this season, NMSU has lost to Oregon and Illinois before beating North Carolina in five sets at the State Farm Illini Classic.
Haynie Heating Up
Senior outside hitter Kathryn Haynie led the way with her first double-double performance of the season to help Utah sweep Utah Valley and outlast Santa Clara last weekend in the Ute Invitational. Haynie registered a match-high-tying 21 kills and 10 digs against SCU and also recorded a career-high with five service aces. Haynie's kill total was the second-highest single-match total in the Mountain West Conference during the opening weekend and fell just one short of tying her career-best performance.
2-0 Starts Under Launiere
Utah has started a season 2-0 for the first time since 2005. The Utes have won their first two matches six other times under head coach Beth Launiere: 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1995, and 1992. The last five times the Utes have won their first two matches, they have advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Home Victory Milestones
Utah is one win away from victory No. 600 in program history. The Utes earned their 599th home win Sunday against Santa Clara and will get their first chance to get win Friday against No. 4 Texas. Utah is also closing in on its 100th home win at Crimson Court since 2000. The Utes have posted a 96-15 record for a .865 winning percentage in that time frame.
Heading into the second weekend of the season, Utah is tied for the lead in the Mountain West Conference with 1.50 service aces per set. Outside hitter Kathryn Haynie served five aces Sunday against Santa Clara, which was the most in a single match in the conference during the opening weekend. Haynie currently ranks second in the league with 0.75 service aces per set, just .11 aces per set behind the current leader. Last season, the Utes finished eighth in the MWC in aces per set (1.17).
Approaching Club 1,000
Haynie and middle blocker Lori Baird are both close to becoming the next members of Utah's 1,000-kill club. Both had more than 800 career kills in their first three seasons with the Utes and two matches into their respective senior seasons, Baird holds a slight edge with 917 kills in 375 sets for a 2.46 kills-per-set average, while Haynie has 887 kills in 245 career sets for a 3.62 kill-per-set mark.
Baird Among The Nation's Best
Baird was one of only 22 players from around the country selected to participate in the U.S. Women's Senior A2 National Team program this past offseason. Baird has earned honorable mention recognition on the AVCA's All-West Region team and All-Mountain West Conference honors each of the last two seasons. In 2007, Baird ranked among the top-20 in the nation and second in the MWC with a team-leading 1.53 blocks per set. She ranked second on the team with 27 aces, third on the squad with 2.93 kills per set and also ranked fifth in the conference in hitting percentage (.316).
Carrying A Toone
Preseason All-Moutain West Conference selection Emillie Toone moved into third place on the school's career total blocks list, moving past Sheila Cottrell-Sorenson (482 from 1982-86). The redshirt senior currently has 488 career blocks, most coming between 2004 and 2006.
The American Fork, Utah native finished the 2005 campaign with 182 blocks then came up with 207 blocks in 2006, which was the second-best total in the country and still ranks as the second-highest single-season total in school history. Toone needs 10 more blocks to move into the second spot on Utah's all-time list, which is currently held by McKelle Stilson's 497 blocks during the 1998 and 2001 seasons.
Utes Picked Second In MWC Preseason Poll
Utah was picked to finish second in the 2008 MWC Preseason Coaches Poll. The Utes accumulated 95 points in the poll, after finishing last season tied for fourth in the regular season with a 9-7 conference record before surging to finish second at the MWC Tournament.
Utah Receiving Votes
The Utes received 32 votes in the 2008 CBS College Sports Network/AVCA Division I Coaches Top-25 Poll. Two other MWC teams were recognized, as Colorado State was ranked 17th and BYU was 20th.