- No. 16 Utah def. No. 20 Colorado 3-1 (25-14, 16-25, 25-20, 25-17)
- Utah moves to 10-2, 1-0 Pac-12; Colorado falls to 10-2, 0-1 Pac-12
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Attendance: 4,664
- Box Score
SALT LAKE CITY – No. 16 Utah managed 21 more kills than No. 20 Colorado in a four-set win to open the Pac-12 season on Friday.
The Utes bested the Buffaloes 64-43 in kills, .218 to .145 in hitting percentage and 81-63 in digs. Colorado won the battle at the net (9-7 in blocks) and from the service line (3-1 in aces).
Senior outside hitter Adora Anae paced Utah with a 21-kills, 12 digs double-double, while three players followed with 10-kill nights. Freshman outside Dani Barton, senior middle blocker Tawnee Luafalemana and senior outside Carly Trueman turned in 10 putaways apiece. Luafalemana added a team-best four stuffs, while four players posted double-digit dig efforts. Sophomore libero Brianna Doehmann led the backcourt with 14 kills followed by sophomore setter Bailey Choy (13), Anae (12) and freshman outside Shannon Scully (12). Choy rounded out a double-double with 39 assists.
Junior outside Frankie Shebby, junior outside Alexa Smith and junior middle Naghede Abu tallied double-digit kill efforts for the Buffs with 12, 10 and 10 respectively, but didn’t have much help from anyone else in the loss. Smith rounded out a double-double with 15 digs, while Abu put up a team-best five blocks. Junior libero Gabby Carta-Samuels was tops on defense with 23 digs.
Utah set the tone in the opening stanza, going up 4-1 with help from a pair of Buffalo miscues. Colorado tied it up at 7-all on a kill by Smith, but that sparked the Utes to a 5-2 run and a 12-9 lead. Kills by three different players and a stuff by Luafalemana and Barton gave Utah the advantage. Up just three at 14-11, Utah pulled away with a 7-0 run, featuring two kills and a block by Barton and a trio of Anae putaways. Four players turned in kills to up the lead to 24-14, setting up Anae for the winner at 25-14.
Four Shebby kills and two blocks lifted Colorado to a 9-5 advantage in Set 2. A Luafalemana kill made it a three-point game at 9-6, but that is as close at the Utes would get in the stanza. Up four at 17-13, the Buffs scored seven of the next nine, including two kills each by Smith and Abu, to earn their first set point try at 24-15. A Barton putaway stopped the first attempt, but Joslyn Hayes capped the win at 25-16.
Utah snapped a 5-all tie with an 8-2 run, as five players notched kills. A Berkeley Oblad kill made it 17-10 Utes. Down 20-12, Colorado scored three straight, with help from two Utah errors, to narrow the gap to five. The teams traded three point runs after than, leading to a 23-18 score. A Trueman kill put Utah on the hill. A block and a kill by Abu kept the set going, but Barton squashed any comeback hopes with a set-ending kill at 25-20.
Abu downed two kills as Colorado went up 3-1 to start Set 4. Utah countered with seven of the next nine, spreading the ball around offensively en route to an 8-5 lead of its own. The Utes upped the edge to six at 13-7 with a 4-0 run, incluidng a pair of Lauga Gauta kills. The Buffs chipped away, eventually cutting the margin to three at 18-15 on an Abu kill. Utah had an answer, though, scoring six straight to earn its first match-point try at 24-15. A pair of CU miscues and three Ute kills aided the rally. A Lauren Dorrell kill and Utah hitting error thwarted the first two match-point attempts, but Anae took care of business on the third try, smashing her 21st kill for the victory.
Courtesy: Colorado Athletics
For just the second time this season, the No. 25 Colorado volleyball team suffered a loss, this time falling 3-1 to No. 16 Utah on Friday night at Huntsman Center.
Utah, which improved to 10-2 overall (1-0 Pac-12), took the first set 25-14, before the Buffs (10-2, 0-1 Pac-12) stormed back to take the second set, 25-16. But after the intermission, the Utes defended their home court, taking the third and fourth sets 25-20 and 25-17, respectively.
WHAT HAPPENED: Junior Frankie Shebby led the Buffs’ attack with 12 kills, while another pair of juniors, Alexa Smith and Naghede Abu, each totaled 10 kills in the effort. Abu hit a match-high .286 and also posted a match-best five blocks, one solo and four assists.
Smith also did well defensively, recording her fifth double-double of the season with 15 digs. Junior Gabby Carta-Samuels recorded a career-best 23 digs in the effort for her first career 20+ digs performance.
Adora Anae hammered a match-high 21 kills for the Utes and also hit .271 while adding 21 digs. Three other Utes, Dani Barton, Tawnee Luafalemana and Carly Trueman each tallied 10 kills.
SET 1: The game was tied 7-7 when the Utes recorded a 3-0 run to go up 10-7. CU got back within a point, but again the Utes pulled away. UU had a 15-11 lead at the media timeout and increased the advantage to 18-11 before the Buffs were forced to take a timeout. The break did not slow down the Utes as they added another three points before the Buffs were able to side-out (21-12). Utah went on to take the set 25-14.
SET 2: The Buffs came out stronger, this time taking an 11-6 lead in the set before Utah needed to call a timeout. Colorado increased its lead a short time later to six points (15-9). The two sides continued to battle, but the Buffs were the first team to 20, leading 20-14. Utah sided-out on the following point, but Smith answered with a kill, giving CU a 21-15 advantage. Utah took a timeout after Smith’s kill, but it did little to slow down the Buffs as they had all the momentum and finished the frame 25-16.
SET 3: The third set started out more evenly and was tied at 5-5 early before Utah was able to take a 13-7 lead. CU took its first timeout to regroup and recorded the following point off a kill from Abu. Abu posted a block solo on the next point to bring the Buffs within four points (13-9) before UU answered with a pair of points of its own (15-9). Utah led 23-15 late in the set, but the Buffs were not giving up and tallied a 3-0 run, which forced UU to call a timeout. The Utes took the first point out of the break to get to set point and despite a block by Abu and Joslyn Hayes, as well as a kill from Abu, Utah took the set 25-20.
SET 4: Utah used a 4-0 run to take an 8-5 advantage before the Buffs needed to take a timeout. Colorado was able to side-out, but was not able to slow down the Utes as they jumped ahead 13-7. CU took its second timeout of the set down 10-15, and took the following point off a kill from Smith. UU took the next point, but the Buffs responded with a big block from Anna Pfefferleand Brynna DeLuzio (16-12). Unfortunately the Buffs could not keep momentum on their side and Utah took the set, 25-17, to finish the match.
TEAM STATISTICS: Utah led in most categories in the box score, except for blocks and aces. CU posted 9.0 team blocks to UU’s 7.0 and also served up three aces to just one for the Utes. Utah hit .218 with 64 kills and 27 errors on 170 attacks, while the Buffs hit .145 with 43 kills and 20 kills on 159 swings. Utah recorded 81 digs to CU’s 63.
NEXT UP: The Buffs return to Boulder on Sunday, Sept. 24 for a match against No. 4 and reigning NCAA Champion Stanford. First serve is set for 12 p.m. at Coors Events Center.
Head coach Jesse Mahoney
“Utah played a very clean match. They beat us in the serve pass game – keeping us out of rhythm offensively. We had some defensive intensity at times, but could not sustain long enough to get to a set five. It is a disappointing loss, but we are focused on the quick turnaround with Stanford coming on Sunday.”
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