Sophomore right-side hitter Shelby Dalton pounded a career-high 12 kills on Friday against No. 8 USC.
Nov. 9, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah volleyball team outhit No. 8 USC, .289 to .264, on Friday, but could not avoid a four-set loss (22-25, 25-15, 16-25, 23-25) in a Pac-12 Conference match at Crimson Court.
Utah (12-16, 3-12 Pac-12) outhit its opponent for the 16th time this season, but fell to a 12-4 mark in that scenario this season. The Utes also held a 9.0 to 8.0 advantage in team blocks, the 19th time this season they have outblocked their opponents.
Sophomore right-side hitter Shelby Dalton turned in a career high 12 kills on 26 swings without a single error for a .462 hitting percentage. This was her third match with 10 or more kills this season and the sixth of her career.
Two more Utes registered double-digits in kills as sophomore outside hitter Chelsey Schofield turned in her ninth double-double of 2012 and the 17th of her career with 12 kills and a team-high 18 digs. She has 19 matches with 10 or more kills this season and 11 matches with 10 or more digs this season and 26 for her career.
Morgan Odale fell just one dig shy of recording a double-double as well as she recorded 10 kills and had nine digs. She has 14 double-digit-kill efforts this season and 52 during her career.
Sophomores Bailey Bateman and Alli Spurrier both turned in eight kills apiece, hit over .300, and had five blocks for the match. Spurrier tied her career-high mark in kills for the third time this season and finished just one block shy of tying her career high for the second time.
In the back row of the Ute defense, sophomore libero Lea Adolph had 11 digs for her ninth match with double-digit-digs this season and third in a row.
There was a pair of ties at the start of the first set before three consecutive USC points gave the Trojans a 5-2 edge. The Women of Troy would lead by as many as seven (14-7), before the Utes pulled within one (17-16) after putting together a 9-3 stretch. Utah kept within a point (23-22), but could not avoid a 25-22 defeat. Schofield, Erin Redd and Bateman had three kills apiece in the opener and the Utes hit .294 in the opening frame.
Five ties came early in the second frame, with the last coming at 5-5, before the Utes inched out to a 9-5 lead with four consecutive scores. USC turned in a 4-1 spurt to pull within a point at 10-9, but Utah answered with five straight scores to grab a 15-9 edge. Utah would go on to cruise to a 25-15 second-set victory to even the match at one set apiece. Utah outhit USC, .333 to .048, and earned a 5.0 to 1.0 edge in team blocks. Morgan Odale had six kills in the set, while Bateman turned in four blocks in the set alone.
"Crimson Court is a great place to play and when we can get fired up like we did, there is nothing like it," Utah head coach Beth Launiere said. "There's such great energy when the crowd gets into it like that. We just played well and had confidence and had some momentum. We had [USC] on the ropes, which is similar to what they did to us in set three unfortunately. It was a great set."
The third frame was tied four times before Utah jumped out an 8-5 edge with three straight points. USC came back to force the fourth tie of the set three more times before the Women of Troy reeled off three consecutive score to grab a 15-12 lead. The visitors would never look back en route to a 25-16 win in the third set. Dalton had four kills with a .500 hitting percentage and Adolph turned in five more digs to lead the Utes in the frame.
"[USC] was smart and did a good job of changing the tempo of the game," Launiere said. "They did some things differently. They tipped on us and served short and they made us uncomfortable. We were flowing and then they changed the tempo on us so we started picking those tips up and adjusting to what they were doing and it got us back into the game."
In the fourth frame, the teams were even twice before USC seized a five-point advantage, 11-5. The Utes fought to tie the set for the third time at 19-19 after putting together a 6-1 stretch as Utah would regain the lead at 21-20. There would be four more ties, but USC was able to come away with a 25-23 win to clinch the match.
No. 8 USC (23-4, 11-4 Pac-12) was led by three players - Sara Shaw, Samantha Bricio and Katie Fuller- who tied for match-high honors with 13 kills apiece.
The Utes host No. 6 UCLA tomorrow at 7 p.m. The live stream with Dan Clayton's play-by-play call will be available at http://pac-12.com/live/utahutes.aspx. Live stats will be shown at http://utahutes.cstv.com/gametracker/launch/gt_wvolley.html?event=1105601&school=utah&sport=wvolley&camefrom=&startschool=&.