Sept. 25, 2002
SALT LAKE CITY - The No. 16 University of Utah women's volleyball team (10-3) lost tonight 3-0 (31-29, 30-26, 30-22) in an exhibition match against Olymp Praha, a professional team from the Czech Republic. Because it was an exhibition match, the loss doesn't count toward the team's season statistics and 23-match home winning streak.
Game one was even until Olymp Praha took a five-point lead (14-9). The Utes tied it at 20 on a Sylva Strzinkova ace. Then, with Utah up 29-27, Olymp Praha scored four straight points to win the game 31-29.
In game two, Olymp Praha pulled ahead early but the Utes stayed in it, cutting the lead to as little as one (19-18). However, Olymp Praha proved to be too much, winning by the score of 30-26.
Olymp Praha took the lead early on in game three and never looked back. Down 16-9, the Utes went on a 5-1 run (17-14), but Olymp Praha answered back with a 5-1 run of their own (23-17) and went on to win 30-22.
Strzinková led the Utes with 15 kills, and junior Kim Turner added 11. Turner, who ranks fifth in the nation in blocking, also had seven blocks. Junior libero Jackie Morrill finished with a match-high 14 digs. Sophomore setters Kelsie Kartchner and Tracy Neumeier split time, finishing with 25 and 12 assists, respectively.
In game two, sophomore Lyndsey Phillips collided with Morrill and left the match with a sprained ankle. It is the second time this season she has suffered such an injury. "I hope Lyndsey isn't out for the weekend," Head Coach Beth Launiere said.
Olymp Praha out-hit the Utes .270 to .150, but Utah out-blocked them 13.5 to seven.
The Utes open conference play at 7:00 p.m. this Friday at UNLV. On Sunday, Sept. 29, the Utes play at San Diego State at 1:00 p.m.