Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Weekly Volleyball Notes

Emillie Toone and the Utah volleyball team host BYU on Friday.

Emillie Toone and the Utah volleyball team host BYU on Friday.

Oct. 25, 2006

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This Week - One match is on the docket this weekend and it's a big one. The No. 9-ranked University of Utah Volleyball team (19-2, 10-0 Mountain West) hosts in-state rival and No. 17-ranked Brigham Young University (18-2, 9-1 MWC) this Friday, Oct. 27. It's Utah's oldest rival as the two will tangle on the court for the 75th time in series history this weekend. Friday's match could impact the conference standings as Utah and BYU are the only undefeated and one-loss teams in the league, respectively. The match will be played at Crimson Court, located on the lower level of the HPER-East Complex in room 101.

Quoting Head Coach Beth Launiere:
On This Week: "There aren't going to be any motivation issues for us this week. We just need to be prepared to play a good volleyball team and I know the energy level will be there.

"This is going to be a great volleyball match between two very good teams. This is going to be a great opportunity for volleyball fans to see as good a volleyball match as there is."

On Last Week: "I was pleased with our execution last weekend, but I think we need to play with more energy. We're always pleased to come away with two 3-0 wins, especially against two very good Mountain West Conference teams like San Diego State and UNLV."

See Emillie Play - Junior middle blocker Emillie Toone chalked up her 400th career total block last weekend. Toone is currently seventh in Utah's career record book with 403 and needs only 37 more to secure sixth place all-time. In breaking the 400-block barrier, Toone also joins Utah's 400-block club. Last weekend, she averaged 2.0 blocks per game in netting six total blocks in each the San Diego State and UNLV matches. Her season average improved to a 1.91 per game, which still ranks No. 1 in the nation.

More Digs for Dangerfield - With 33 digs between the two matches last weekend, junior libero Connie Dangerfield recorded her 900th career dig. She finished the weekend upping her career total to 916. With that, she cracks Utah's all-time top 10, edging out Denise Rathbun's 915. She only needs 25 more digs to jump ahead into ninth place. That's not the only time Dangerfield's name appears in the record book. She also holds the single-season record for digs. She had 467 in 2004 and was named the MWC Libero of the Year for her effort.

A "Webb" of Kills - Whitney Webb led the Utes last weekend in hitting an impressive .541. She tallied 23 kills on 37 swings, chalking up a scant three errors. Her efforts were buoyed by a season-high .650 (14-1-20) hitting percentage as she powered Utah past UNLV on Sunday. Webb won her second straight MWC Player of the Week honor for her efforts. For the week, she tallied 3.83 kills, 3.67 digs and had 1.33 blocks.

The Building Block of Success - One of the most impressive aspects of Utah's game this year has been it's block. The Utes have out-blocked 19 of its 21 opponents and in the process have racked up 267.5 to their opponents' 149. Last weekend, the Utes collected blocks at a 4.00 per-game clip, improving their blocking average to 3.88 per game. As a result of the solid block, Utah has held opponents to a sub-.100 hitting percentage 12 times this year. For the season, rivals are hitting just .096 against the Utes.

Three and Done - Utah had a pair of 3-0 wins last weekend, topping league rivals San Diego State and UNLV. More impressive, though, is that 16 of the Utes' 19 wins this season have been three-game sweeps. On top of that, all 10 of Utah's home victories have been three-gamers. Six of the last seven matches have been three-game wins for the Utes.

The Numbers Game - 53, the number days it's been since Utah lost a match; 17, the number of victories in Utah's current winning streak; 10, the number of games Utah has lost all season; 9, where Utah ranks in the coaches poll; 9, the number of consecutive games won; 1, the number of five-game matches Utah has played this year; 0, the number of home losses.

National Rankings - In the national rankings through Oct. 22, Emillie Toone is the No. 1 blocker (1.91 bpg) in the nation while Lori Baird is 27th (1.47). Meanwhile, the team ranks first in blocks per game (3.88), eighth in win-loss percentage (.905), 11th in hitting (.283), 20th in kills (16.43) and 26th in assists (15.01).

Poll Position - Utah is currently ranked No. 9 in the latest poll ... it has been ranked the CSTV/AVCA coaches poll a total of 69 times ... the highest-ever ranking was No. 8 on Sept. 9, 2002 ... the Utes have been ranked in the top 10 a total of five times ... prior to this season, the last top-10 ranking was on Sept. 16, 2002 when Utah checked in at No. 10.

Potent Notables - The Utes are 1-2 against nationally ranked teams this season. They beat then-No. 16 BYU, 3-1, and lost to then-No. 5 Florida and then-No. 14 USC also by 3-1 counts ... Utah finishes the season with four of its last six matches on the road. It is a combined 9-2 in away and neutral-site matches this year ... UNLV hit .139 against Utah last weekend. That ended a five-match streak that saw Utah's opponents hit less than .100 ... no Utah opponent has hit better than .246 (then-No. 14 USC) against Utah ... the last time Utah lost a match in conference play was on Nov. 19, 2005, at San Diego State ... Utah ranks in the MWC top five in all seven categories. It is first in opponent hitting (.096), assists (15.01), kills (16.43) and blocks (3.88). It is second in hitting (.283) and digs (16.86) ... three of the conference's top blockers are from Utah. Emillie Toone (1.91) is tops followed by Lori Baird (1.47) in third and Whitney Webb (1.38) in fourth ... Utah is 16-0 in three-game matches, 2-2 in four-game affairs and 1-0 in five-gamers ... they are also 18-3 in games one and two, 19-2 in game three, 3-2 in game four and 1-0 in game five.

Scouting the Opponent:
Brigham Young University - The 17th-ranked Cougars come to town having won seven straight matches, topping Weber State in their last outing on Tuesday, 3-0. In fact, they haven't lost since the 3-1 upset to then-No. 18 Utah back on Sept. 29. This will be the 75th meeting of these two rivals as BYU owns the all-time series lead, 54-20. However, Utah has won 13 of the last 14 meetings. Leading BYU this year are Chelsea Goodman (4.40 kills and 3.38 digs), Lindsy Hartsock (.396 hitting and 1.59 blocks) and Amy Schlauder (13.36 assists).

Last Week - The Utes continue to reach new heights as they raced their winning streak out to 17 matches with a pair of 3-0 wins last weekend. They topped San Diego State (30-22, 30-17, 30-23) and UNLV (30-25, 30-27, 30-27) as they also saw their conference record improve to a perfect 10-0.

The Utes hit an impressive .333 in the win over San Diego State as Airial Salvo's 16 kills on .350 hitting led the Utes. However, it was Emillie Toone who was the most efficient hitter that night, tallying her 10 kills on .692 hitting (10-1-13). Sydney Anderson set the attack in handing out 22 assists.

Whitney Webb (seven blocks) and Connie Dangerfield (16 digs) led the defense against SDSU. Utah owned the 12.5-11.5 edge in team blocks as it held the Aztecs to a meager .088 hitting.

Utah battled UNLV to preserve the winning streak. The Utes hit .260 and saw three of their spikers tally double-digit kills. Salvo's 16 kills led the way but she had help from Webb's 14 kills and Lori Baird's 10. Webb was the best hitter, collecting kills at a .650 (14-1-20) clip. Anderson ran the attack in handing out 41 assists. She also had five digs and six blocks.

The defense held UNLV to .139 hitting and out-blocked it, 11.5-7. Leading the defense were the six-block efforts of Toone and Anderson. Dangerfield's 17 digs led the Utes as well.

Air Time - This fall, CSTV Networks and the Mountain West Conference kick off an unprecedented 14-year partnership designed to offer the most in-depth coverage ever centered around one Division I-A conference. The centerpiece of this historic relationship is the launch of The mtn. ("the mountain")--MountainWest Sports Network. The mtn. is the first-ever Super Regional Sports Network and will serve the Mountain West Conference 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Mountain West Conference quarterfinals and semifinals will air on the mtn., while the MWC Championships match will air on CSTV.

In addition to CSTV's and the mtn.'s coverage of Utah volleyball, live audio and video of each home match is available for a nominal charge at www.utahutes.com.

At the Helm - Beth Launiere is in her 17th season as Utah's head coach. She has a 341-189 career record. She has led her squad to NCAA Tournament appearances the last eight seasons, including a "Sweet 16" showing in 2001. Following her "Sweet 16" run, Launiere was named the 2001 Tachikara/AVCA Division I West Region Coach of the Year. Launiere's Utes have recorded 10 20-win seasons, and in 2005, Utah posted a then-school-record 12 conference victories. A native of Grand Rapids, Mich., Launiere graduated from Aquinas College and was an assistant at Ferris State and Illinois before taking over the Ute program in 1990.

Upcoming - Mountain West Conference play continues when the Utes return to the road to play at TCU (Nov. 3) and New Mexico (Nov. 4). They come home to Crimson Court to host Wyoming in the regular-season home finale (Nov. 9) and see the regular season conclude on the road at Air Force (Nov. 17) and Colorado State (Nov. 18).



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