Lori Baird had a school-record 13 blocks assists in the five-game win over Wyoming.
Oct. 14, 2006
LARAMIE, Wyo. - It took 19 matches but the No. 12-ranked University of Utah volleyball team (17-2, 8-0 Mountain West) played its first five-game match of the year, rallying from a 0-2 deficit to beat league rival Wyoming here this evening, 3-2.
Game scores were 27-30, 28-30, 30-20, 30-26 and 15-8. With the loss, Wyoming falls to 8-10 on the year and to 2-6 in the MWC.
The come-from-behind win preserves Utah's winning streak, extending it to a school-record 15 matches. The Utes haven't lost since Sept. 2 when they lost to then-No. 14 USC, 3-1.
"Wyoming played a great match against us tonight," said head coach Beth Launiere. "We had to lay it on the line and give it all we had to get the win. I'm proud of how the team responded to being down two games. This was our first five-game match of the year and to come back and win it on the road is pretty special.
"Our offense was sluggish tonight so we had to step up our defense and we did that. Our defense helped us find a way to win tonight."
It was the defense that spurred the Utes to the come-from-behind win tonight. The Cowgirls held the Utes to a season-low .189 hitting. But, the defense was there to pick up the slack. Utah out-blocked its rivals, 27-12, and out-dug it, 108-87.
The Cowgirls hit .155 (18-7-71) in game one and .163 (16-8-49) in game two but never hit better than .073 (15-11-55) in the final three frames. In fact, Wyoming hit for negative in two of the last three games and finished hitting a paltry .081 (61-41-246) for the match.
Leading the Ute defense was the middle blocker tandem of Emillie Toone and Lori Baird. Toone finished with an impressive 14 total blocks (including two block solos) while Baird finished with 13 blocks (all blocks assists). Baird's 13 block assists was a school record in a five-game match.
Five Utes finished the five-game affair with a double-double. Toone (14 blocks, 11 kills), Baird (13 blocks, 11 kills) Kate Robison (17 kills, 18 digs), Airial Salvo (14 kills, 19 digs) and Whitney Webb (16 kills, 26 digs) all turned the deed tonight. Webb was one block shy of the coveted triple-double, recording nine blocks in the winning effort.
"Tonight's win was a great team effort," continued Launiere. "It wasn't just one person that stepped up. Everyone on the team was responsible for the victory."
The attack ran through both Shannon Krug and Sydney Anderson tonight. Krug dished out a team-high 44 assists in four games and helped out with six blocks and four digs. Anderson handed out 23 assists herself in two games of work.
Leading the home team tonight was Rachel Smith (21 kills), Tasha Weishahn (48 assists), Nicki Kent (nine blocks) and Samantha Eley (28 digs).
Utah returns to action on Oct. 20 when it hosts San Diego State. First serve is set for 7 p.m.