Utah Set To Face Off Against Texas In Sweet 16

  0 volleymob | December 06th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, News, Pac 12

Press Release courtesy of Utah Athletics

Match 34: #13 Utah (24-9) vs. #2 Texas (26-2)
Friday, Dec. 8 | 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT
Palo Alto, Calif. | Maples Pavilion
TV: ESPN3 (Paul Sunderland, Karch Kiraly)
Stream: WatchESPN
Live Stats: NCAA.com

• Utah is coming off a pair of sub-regional home wins over Cleveland State and #16-ranked Purdue to make its third all-time appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16.

  • Utah is making its first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance since 2008. The Utes also earned a trip to the Sweet 16 back in 2001.
  • Utah is 14-13 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, which includes an 11-3 record in the first round and a 3-8 mark in second-round play. The Utes are 0-2 all-time in NCAA Regional action.
  • Senior Adora Anae, senior Tawnee Luafalemanaa and junior Berkeley Oblad were each named to the AVCA Pacific South All-Region Team this week. Anae and Luafalemana were both first team selections and will be added to the All-American ballot. Oblad earned all-region honorable mention accolades.
  • Utah has won 24 games heading into this week’s regional in Stanford. The 24 victories are the most since registering a 26-6 record back in 2008. It also marks the second straight 20-win season and fourth in the past five seasons.


The No. 13-ranked and No. 11 NCAA Tournament-seeded Utah Utes (24-9) will be making its first NCAA Regional Semifinal appearance since 2008 when it faces the No. 2-ranked and No. 6-seeded Texas Longhorns (26-2) this Friday, Dec. 8, at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, Calif. First serve between the Utes and Longhorns is set for 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT.


Utah’s match against Texas will be televised live on ESPN3. Paul Sunderland will provide play-by-play, with color commentary provided by Karch Kiraly. Fans can also follow the action on-line by logging onto watchespn.com or watching via smart phones and tablets using the ESPN or WatchESPN Apps, which can be downloaded at the Apple Store, Google Play Store or Amazon Apps Store.

Live stats will be provided for all three contests this week, with links to these matches found at www.UtahUtes.com orwww.StatBroadcast.com.


Texas brings in a current 20-match winning streak in Friday’s regional semifinal against the Utes. The Longhorns’ last loss came to then No. 1-ranked Minnesota back on Sept. 8. The Gophers downed UT in four matches in Austin. Texas’ only other loss was a four-set loss to then No. 12-ranked Florida in the season-opening match in Gainesville, Fla. Texas swept through the Big 12 season, going a perfect 16-0 and winning nine of those 16 matches in straight sets. The Longhorns and its opponent would go to a decisive fifth set in just three conference matches this season.

Texas’ Chiaka Ogbogu, Ebony Nwanebu, Micaya White and Lexi Sun were all named to the All-Big 12 First Team, while Cat McCoy and Ashley Shook earned second team accolades. Sun and Shook were also named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. Ogbogu was named the league’s Player of the Year.

Ogbogu ranked first in the Big 12 and second in the nation with a 1.70 blocks per set average. She has tallied a team-best 167 total blocks, which ranks 12th in the nation. She led the conference and ranked 14th in the nation with a .404 hitting percentage. White (321) and Sun (328) both tallied 300-plus kills for the Longhorns this season. Shook runs the Longhorn offense and has tallied a team-best 1,063 assists and a 10.85 assists/set average. McCoy leads the team defensively with 426 digs and a 4.39 digs/set average.

Texas ranks among the nation’s top 20 teams in a couple of different defensive statistical categories. The Longhorns are second in the nation with a 3.24 blocks/set average, 19th in the nation with 317.5 total team blocks and 12th in the nation as teams are hitting just .154 overall on the year against the Longhorns.


The all-time series history between the Utes and Longhorns is limited, but Texas does lead the all-time series having won both prior meetings. The two teams first met back in 1979 with Texas taking the match in two sets. The only other meeting between the two teams came back in 2008. In what turned out to be Utah’s only neutral site loss that season, Texas defeated the Utes in three sets at the New Mexico State Invite in Las Cruces, N.M.


  • This marks Utah’s second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, the fourth appearance in the past five years and the 14th appearance overall.
  • Utah hosted the sub-regional for the third time in program history, but for the first since 2005.
  • Utah’s No. 11 overall seeding is the highest the program has received. The Utes also earned a top-16 seeding back in 2001 (No. 14) and 2008 (No. 12).
  • Utah is now 14-13 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, which includes an 11-3 record in first-round matches and a 5-1 mark in matches played at home.
  • Utah is moving onto the Sweet Sixteen round for the third time in school history after having made regional semifinal appearances back in 2001 and 2008.
  • All 14 NCAA appearances have come under the direction of head coach Beth Launiere.
  • Adora Anae registered a new NCAA Tournament single-match school record with 27 kills over Purdue in the sub-regional championship match last week. She surpassed former All-American Kim Turner’s total of 24 kills, which was set against Santa Clara back in 2003.
  • In her NCAA Tournament career, Anae has tallied 89 kills and 53 digs with four double-doubles. Her 89 career kills in the tournament ranks second most in school history – only 19 behind Turner’s total of 108 kills – while her 53 digs rank fourth most all-time.
  • Brianna Doehrmann tallied a team-high 18 digs in Utah’s win over Purdue and the total is now tied for third most in school history during a NCAA Tournament single-match.


Utah seniors Adora Anae and Tawanee Luafalemana, along with junior Berkeley Oblad, have each been named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Pacific South Region Team, the AVCA announced today. Anae and Luaefalemana were both named first team selections, while Obald was tabbed honorable mention.

In addition to her second straight first team all-region honor, Anae was also named the region’s Player of the Year, becoming the first Ute to earn AVCA Regional POY honors. This also marks the first time since 2008 that at least two players earned AVCA all-region honors and it is the first time to have at least three players named to the team since 2006, when Utah had five player selections.


A win over the Longhorns would put the Utes in the Stanford Regional Final. Utah would face the winner of Stanford and Wisconsin on Saturday, Dec. 9. First serve is set for 7 p.m. PT at Maples Pavilion.

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