- #8 Washington def. #16 Utah, 3-1 (25-23, 20-25, 28-26, 25-22)
- Washington improves to 19-6, 9-5 Pac 12; Utah falls to 18-7, 9-5 Pac 12
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Attendance: 2625
- Box score
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In a tight back-and-forth battle, #8 Washington outlasted #16 Utah in four sets (25-23, 20-25, 28-26, 25-22). It was an important RPI match, as both teams entered the week in the top 15 in their respective RPI ranking. It also tested the psyche of Washington; less than 24 hours prior to this match, the team was in Boulder, Colorado enduring a loss in three sets at the University of Colorado.
Offensively, the Huskies were led by newly-inserted sophomore outside hitter Kara Bajema, who quickly reset her career-high with 21 kills—the most kills by any Husky this season. Coach Keegan Cook added another move; senior Tia Scambray moved back to the libero position, a position she held for the first half of the season. That move opened the door for Bajema, and the rest is history. Courtney Schwan added 17 kills (a career-high) on .326 hitting, and contributed a double-double in the form of 14 digs. Schwan also added 3 blocks to the fray. Senior Carly DeHoog was another force at the net, garnering 15 kills and adding 3 blocks of her own. Running a 6-2 offense, setters Bailey Tanner (30 assists) and Jade Finau (23 assists) ran the offense to a .302 clip, the highest hitting percentage for the Huskies this season in Pac 12 play.
The Utes, hoping to match their 5-set win in Washington earlier in the season, got two 20+ kill performances from their senior outside hitters Adora Anae (24 kills, 20 digs) and Carly Trueman (20 kills, 4 blocks). Bailey Choy ran the efficient (.296) offense distributing 52 assists on the evening and digging 7 balls. Tawnee Luafalemana added a match-high 8 blocks.
This now places Utah, Washington and Colorado into a three-way tie for third in the Pac 12, only a half game behind second-place USC. Washington’s next match is on Wednesday against Pac 12 leader Stanford.
Courtesy of Washington Athletics
SALT LAKE CITY – Less than twenty-four hours after the finish of a frustrating loss, the 11th-ranked Huskies had to fly to a different state and face another big road challenge at 15th-ranked Utah. But the Dawgs used the quick turnaround as a means to put the setback behind them, and Washington earned one of its biggest wins of the season, stopping the Utes 25-23, 20-25, 28-26, 25-22 before 2,625 fans at the Huntsman Center. Sophomore Kara Bajema, newly inserted into the lineup, was a force at the left pin as her 21 kills were a career-high and the most by a Husky in a match this season.
A turning point came in set three, where UW faced a Utah set point two times, but saved both and a Bajema ace won it and put the Huskies up two sets to one. The Huskies also avenged an earlier five-set loss at home to Utah (18-7, 9-5 Pac-12), and improved to 9-5 in Pac-12 play, tying Utah and Colorado for third, a half-game behind second-place USC.
Head Coach Keegan Cook moved senior Tia Scambrayback to the starting libero spot where she played the first half of the season, and that allowed Bajema to get into the mix at outside hitter. She blew past her old career-high of 16 kills with 21 tonight, on 42 swings, hitting .357. Scambray also led the defense with 19 digs and served up two aces with seven assists.
There was plenty of help, as senior Courtney Schwan had a career-high 17 kills on a .326 attack percentage, and senior Carly DeHoog added 15 kills on a .297 mark. Lauren Sanders and Avie Niece had five blocks apiece and combined for 11 kills.
Bailey Tanner (30 assists) and Jade Finau (23 assists) set the Dawgs to a .307 attack percentage, their highest in Pac-12 play. Both teams were clicking on offense for much of the night, as Utah hit .296, but the Huskies finished with more kills (68-65), aces (5-2), and held the slim edge in blocks (10.5 to 10.0) while Utah had a lead in digs (68-60).
“Really outstanding performance by Kara against a physical Utah team,” said Cook, “so I’m happy for her to have that kind of match after a while out of the lineup. We talked today about making the most of your opportunities, she’s been practicing well for the last few weeks, so we went for it and she made the most of it.”
“I didn’t expect us to have two really rough matches in a row, knowing this group and the way they’ve responded over the years. But I was really pleased with their preparation going into this match. We had less time to prepare but we had three film sessions today and really challenged them to take ownership of the game and they did that.”
Schwan got a kill off the block touch on the first point of the match. Schwan also had a kill off an overpass and hammered another to the floor for 4-2 Dawgs. Niece and Schwan got the first stuff for 6-3. Niece put another Ute swing back off the attacker’s head for a block and 8-4. The Utes got their first consecutive points and cut the Husky lead to 9-7, with Niece putting a transition quick set down to end that run. The Dawgs then posted two more in a row with Bajema ripping crosscourt for 12-7 and the Utes took the first timeout. A tough Shayne McPherson serve helped Sanders be in the right spot for a straight-down stuff for 15-10 Dawgs. Schwan spiked a Tanner set sharply for a kill and 17-12. The Utes scored two straight for 17-14 and the Dawgs took their first timeout. Utah scored one more out of the break before serving long to end the 3-0 run. The Utes made another run to pull within a point but Niece put one away out of the middle for 20-18. DeHoog used the block on the right side for 21-19, but the Utes scored twice to finally tie it back up at 21-21. Tanner bumped a long set to Bajema and she put it down inside the block for 22-21, but Utah answered in serve-receive. Schwan rolled one over the block and down for set point at 24-23, then Jones stepped back and drove an ace of the defense to close the set win, 25-23. The Huskies won the battle of offense, hitting .417 while Utah hit .367. Schwan had six kills on eight swings to hit .750 with four kills from Bajema and DeHoog.
The Utes scored the first two in set two but Bajema landed one from the left to get the Dawgs on the board. Scambray drove two straight aces off the Utah defenders for a 4-3 lead, but Utah came back with a three-point run to go up, 4-6. A Husky triple block with Niece at the center tied it up, 7-7, then DeHoog had a transition kill for 8-7. Niece and Bajema added kills as the teams went back and forth. Sanders hung in the air just long enough to tap down a Utah tip for a block and a Utes error made it 12-9 and they took time. The Dawgs served long and Utah scored scored again for 12-11, but Sanders got a kill out of the middle to keep the lead. Tough serving got the Utes back in front, 15-16, and a Ute block forced a Husky timeout at 16-18. Finau had a perfect back set to DeHoog out of the break and she buried it to get UW back within one. DeHoog had a swing that was seemingly touched by the Utes, but the officials didn’t see it that way, putting the Dawgs down three instead of within one. Bajema had two kills from the left to keep UW in it, but a miss wide by Sanders made it 19-23 and the Huskies used their final timeout. Utah took the set on its second chance, 20-25. The Utes were the hotter team overall in set two, hitting .457 compared to .310 for the Dawgs.
The teams were tied through the first six points of the third. DeHoog crushed one up the line for a 5-4 Husky lead. Utah had three straight to move on top, with a kill by Bajema on a 50-50 ball making it 7-8. Tanner aced the Utes for 9-10 Utah. Sanders tapped down an overpass and a tough Scambray serve forced a Utah error as the Dawgs had it even at 14-14. The teams went back and forth trading sideouts, as Niece, Bajema, and Sanders all put down kills for the Dawgs. Jones found a deep corner to keep trading blows for 19-19. Utah had the sideout for 20-19, and then ended the back and forth with an ace for 21-19 and the Huskies called timeout. Schwan put one away out of the timeout for a big point and then the Dawgs won one of the wildest rallies of the year with DeHoog laying out for a second contact way behind the court and Scambray punching it back over, leading to a Utah error and a timeout at 21-21. The Dawgs then grabbed the lead with a stuff from Niece and DeHoog. UW had several swings for another point but the Utes dug them all and finally got the point for 22-22. Schwan answered right back from the right for 23-22. Utah got a clutch block on the next rally, but DeHoog responded with a kill off the block for set point at 24-23. Washington took timeout to gather itself. Destiny Julye subbed in to serve, but Utah put it away on its first swing for 24-all. Utah then earned a set point with a block, but Bajema saved it with a huge smash. Utah hit into the net to miss a second chance, and then Sanders and Finau, up in the front row as UW was out of subs, got a block assist to put the Huskies up, 27-26, and Utah took its last timeout. Bajema lined up her serve, and Utah let it go as it fell for an ace, and the Dawgs had a delayed celebration after a Utah challenge that wasn’t upheld. Washington had pulled it out, 28-26, with 23 digs in the third set after just 14 combined in the first two sets, as Scambray had seven digs and Jones had six, and Bajema had another six kills.
Washington jumped on top with five of the first six points of the fourth set on a strong Scambray serving run. Jones had the first kill, then Schwan put one into the seats crosscourt, and Sanders killed an overpass. Sanders and Jones met up for a rejection and then Schwan worked one up the left line for 5-1. DeHoog smashed a pair of kills for an 8-4 lead, the Utes answered with two back, but DeHoog had another rightside kill and then Bajema terminated in transition for 10-6. Bajema then caught fire with two huge kills from the left pin, and she then got a third in a row off a Utah overpass to make it 13-8. The Huskies couldn’t shake free, however, as Utah scored two back. Schwan had a kill on a Utah block error to reach the media timeout at 15-12. On the next point, Schwan had a soft block, turned around and dug it up, and then hit the Tanner set down for a kill for 16-12. The teams got into another sideout run, with DeHoog putting two more away on UW’s side. Bajema smashed another off the block on the left for 20-16. A changeup from Schwan went down for 22-18 and the Utes took time. Out of the break, a tip from Schwan went down for 23-20, but Utah answered in serve-receive. DeHoog had a huge swing from the left side to bring UW to match point at 24-21. Utah saved the first with a kill in serve-receive, and the Huskies called timeout at 24-22. Schwan passed the serve solidly to Finau, and she went fittingly to Bajema who hit off the block and down for the match winner, as UW closed it out, 25-22. Both teams hit well again, but UW was a little more efficient, powering down 23 kills on its 25 points, hitting .365 compared to .333 for Utah. Schwan and Bajema both had seven kills in the fourth set, while DeHoog had six, and Scambray had eight more digs.
Courtesy of Utah Athletics
SALT LAKE CITY- Two 20-plus kill efforts on the night for a pair of Utes wasn’t enough as the No. 15-ranked Utah Utes (18-7, 9-5 Pac-12) fell to the No.11-ranked Washington Huskies (19-6, 9-5) in four sets (23-25, 25-20, 26-28, 22-25) Saturday night at the Huntsman Center.
The senior outside hitter tandem of Adora Anae and Carly Trueman both posted 20 kills or more Saturday night with Anae registering 24 kills, while Trueman totaled 20 kills for Utah.
With Anae and Trueman both collecting at least 20 kills tonight, it is the first time to record this feat since Nov. 19, 2011 when Morgan Odale had 23 kills and Chelsey Schofield-Olsen totaled 22 kills.
Utah fell behind 15-10 in the first set, but a 5-2 run cut the Washington lead to just 17-15. The Huskies scored two straight points but the Utes responded and chipped away at the lead to eventually tie the set at 21-21 after consecutive kills by Kenzie Koerber and Anae. Tied 23-23, Washington earned the sideout and clinched the set with a service ace from Crissy Jones.
In the second set, Utah was forced to call timeout after a 3-0 run from Washington, but out of the timeout, the Utes earned five of the next seven points to tie the match at 14-all. Leading 21-19 late in the frame, Utah put together a 3-0 run to lead 24-19 and Koerber would record a kill to give the Utes the 25-20 second-set win. Anae registered eight kills in the frame, while Carly Trueman added in five kills. Utah recorded a .457 hitting percentage in the frame.
Out of intermission, both teams battled each point as neither team could gain a large lead over the other. Tied 14-14, Utah and Washington went point-for-point until a kill and a service ace from Anae gave Utah two straight points to lead 21-19. Washington rallied off three points, but Trueman evened the set at 22-all. Another Trueman kill followed by a block from Tawnee Luafalemana gave the Utes set point at 26-25, but Washington scored three straight to take the set 28-26 on a service ace that was called in on the floor, and after a Utah challenge, the call stood.
Utah played from behind the entire fourth set after Washington opened the frame scoring five of the first six points. The Huskies held the lead at 13-8, but a 4-1 run by Utah cut the gap to just 14-12. Trailing 22-18, back-to-back kills from Koerber and Dani Barton trimmed the lead to just 22-20. With the Huskies at match point, a kill from Trueman pulled Utah backed within two points, 24-22, but a Washington kill gave the Huskies the set win, 25-22.
Anae posted her 15th double-double on the season and sixth-straight after notching a match-high 20 digs. Brianna Doehrmann totaled 15 digs for the Utes, while Shannon Scully added in nine digs. Luafalemana led the team with seven total blocks.
Bailey Choy totaled 52 assists to run the offense, while Berkeley Oblad registered eight kills and Koerber added in seven kills.