Senior captain Sylva Strzinkova was one block shy of a triple-double against UNLV.
Sept. 27, 2002
LAS VEGAS - The University of Utah women's volleyball team opened Mountain West Conference play Friday night with a four-game win over UNLV to improve to 11-3 on the season and 1-0 in the conference.
In game one, the Utes showed why they are ranked No. 16 in the nation. After a 2-2 tie, the Rebels pulled ahead, leading by as many as 10, but Utah didn't give up. Down 29-19 and with UCLA playing for game point, senior Kim Turner served 11 straight points and the Utes won 31-29. Senior Sylva Strzinkova led Utah with seven kills, five digs and four blocks on the game, and the Utes out-blocked the Rebels 7-1.
"That was a great comeback," Head Coach Beth Launiere said. "The 11 straight points we scored were all earned."
Game two saw UNLV jump out to an 8-4 lead. The Utes cut it to one (8-9), but the Rebels then went on an 8-0 run and led 16-8. Utah chipped away at the UNLV lead, cutting it to one several times, but UNLV proved too much, winning 30-26. UNLV hit for .182 on the game compared to .140 by Utah.
Utah held the lead throughout all of game three, leading by as many as 10 points and winning 30-21. Up 4-2, sophomore setter Tracy Neumeier sparked the Utes when she served five straight points, setting the tone and giving Utah the momentum for the entire game. Strzinkova had five kills on the game to lead the Utes, who hit for .244.
In the fourth and final game, the score flip-flopped for the majority until Utah went on a 9-2 run to win the game and match. Strzinkova had seven kills and four digs on the game to lead the Utes.
In leading Utah, Strzinkova was one block shy of a triple-double, finishing with 21 kills, 12 digs and nine blocks. Three other Utes hit double-digits in kills - Turner and sophomore Sabine Schulz each had 14 and junior Brit Whiting notched 11. Turner also had 10 digs, making it her fifth double-double of the season. Junior Jackie Morrill finished with 12 digs. Sophomore Kelsie Kartchner finished with 30 assists, while Neumeier had 26.
"It was a great effort on the road," Launiere said. "By game four, we hit for .321. We got so much better as the match went on and that's key on the road.
"Sylva's persistence really paid off tonight," Launiere continued. "They did a great job blocking her. Good hitters keep swinging and that's what she did tonight. She didn't back down. She kept finding ways to get kills."
UP NEXT: The Utes travel to San Diego State for a 1:00 p.m. match on Sunday.