Sophomore middle blocker Bailey Bateman had a career-high 11 kills and five blocks in Friday afternoon's 3-0 win over Southern Utah.
Aug. 24, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Sophomore middle blocker Bailey Bateman turned in a career-high 11 kills and five blocks to help the University of Utah volleyball team sweep Southern Utah (25-16, 25-17, 25-15) in its first match of the season Friday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum as part of the Utah State Invitational presented by Gossner Foods.
Utah (1-0) outhit Southern Utah .323 to .074 and held an 8.0 to 5.0 advantage in team blocks.
"I felt that we came out and did the things we talked about doing going into the match," Utah head coach Beth Launiere said. "We wanted to come out aggressively, handle any runs [Southern Utah] threw at us, staying calm and trusting the training we've been doing. And did a very nice job with all of that."
Bateman had 11 kills on just 14 attempts with a pair of errors for a career-high .643 hitting percentage. Her five blocks against the T-Birds was a match-high total. The Hooper, Utah native's previous career highs set during her freshman season in 2011 were two kills and two blocks.
"She spent last year just getting better and it paid off," Launiere said. "Now is her opportunity and she's taking full advantage of it."
Sophomore outside hitter Chelsey Schofield tied Bateman for team-high honors with 11 kills to go with five digs and two blocks.
Morgan Odale was the third Ute in double figures in kills with 10 kills and also pitched in four digs. Odale made an impact at the service line as she tied her career high with four aces for the fourth time in her career, the last time coming against TCU on Nov. 20, 2010.
Junior middle blocker Erin Redd contributed eight kills and a pair of blocks.
"McKenzie did a nice job of running the offense," Launiere said. "We hit over .300 so it's nice to see the results of all of our hard work on the offensive side of the ball."
Thanks to three straights aces by Morgan Odale, Utah raced out to a 4-0 lead and led by as many as seven (11-4) before closing the set strong with a 4-0 spurt to get out to a nine-point edge (24-15) en route to a 25-16 first-set victory. Utah sported a balanced attack while hitting .481 on the attack. Schofield had four kills, while Bateman, Redd and Morgan Odale each had three apiece.
"You like to see results of things you've been working on," Launiere said. "That first set gave us the confidence in the stuff we've been doing in the gym every day."
The second frame was tied twice before the Utes scored four straight points to climb to a 6-2 advantage. The T-Birds forced the third tie of the set after going on a 5-1 run to knot the set at eight points apiece before the Ute promptly responded with a 7-0 spurt to take back the lead at 15-8. The Aggies cut their deficit to five points, but Utah went on to take the set by eight points, 25-17. The Utes hit .323 in the second frame and Schofield again led the charge with four kills.
Utah took four of the next five points then the T-Birds put together a 3-0 stretch to tie the set for the first time at four points apiece. There would be one more time at five, before SUU scored three of the next four to grab its first lead of the match, 8-6. The Utes answered by scoring five straight to regain the lead at 11-8 and extended that margin to six points by using a 4-1 spurt and Utah was on its way to a 25-15 match-clinching third-set win.
The Utes improved to 16-7 in season openers under head coach Beth Launiere and 21-17 all-time. Utah now holds a 3-0 advantage in the all-time series with the Thunderbirds.
The Utes take on Utah State this evening at 7 p.m. Fans can watch a live stream of all of the action from the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum at utahstateaggies.com.
Utah will conclude play at the Utah State Invitational presented by Gossner Foods with another doubleheader tomorrow, starting against Weber State at 12 p.m., then against Portland at 5 p.m.