Lori Baird tied for match-high honors with nine kills Thursday against Wyoming.
Nov. 20, 2008
SALT LAKE CITY -The Utes' Lori Baird tied for match-high honors with nine kills as the No. 22 Utah volleyball team defeated Wyoming (25-16, 25-20, 25-17) for its 13th consecutive Mountain West Conference victory Thursday at Crimson Court.
"It was night and day from our last match at Wyoming [a 3-0 defeat in Laramie, Wyo., on Sept. 20]," head coach Beth Launiere said. "We came out focused and executed the entire match."
Utah (21-5, 13-2 MWC) outhit Wyoming .312 to .098 for the match to go along with an 11.5 to 6 edge in blocks. The Utes also came up with six aces, including a match-high four from Kathryn Haynie, who also registered a match-high six digs.
"We wanted to get the connection back between our setters and our hitters," Launiere said. "It's nice to see them have success and I'm glad we shored up some things on our attack."
Baird also tied for match-high honors with a .571 hitting percentage, totaling nine kills on 14 swings with just one error on the attack. Teammate Chelsey Sandberg converted five kills on seven swings with one attack error for an identical .571 mark on the attack to go along with five blocks.
"We really worked on our blocking this week in practice because we didn't come up with as many plays as we wanted to in our last match," Launiere said. "We want to block well in all of our matches so we worked on a variety of different things to help us."
Emillie Toone played big along the net for the Utes with a match-high six blocks to go along with five kills on 10 attempts for a .300 hitting percentage.
Cinthia Silva was second on the team with eight kills on 14 attempts for a .357 hitting percentage to go along with four digs. Karolina Bartkowiak totaled seven kills on 13 swings and had three blocks along the front line.
With the first set tied at six points apiece, the Utes went on a 5-0 run to climb out to an 11-6 lead. Toone came up with three consecutive kills to help the Utes gain an 18-11 edge. Three different Utes, Silva, Toone and Bartkowiak, registered three kills apiece. Silva hit a set-high .500 with three kills on five swings in the set as they hit .478 on the attack as a team and held the Cowgirls to a .143 clip. Utah got six blocks in the opening set, compared to just one for Wyoming.
The second set followed in similar fashion, with the score tied at 17 points apiece, the Utes put together a 5-1 run to take a 22-18 edge late into the set before closing out a 25-20 victory. Silva led the way for Utah in the set with four more kills as the Utes outhit Wyoming .188 to .136. The Utes were at a 4-1 disadvantage in blocks.
After the third set was tied at eight points apiece, the Utes scored eight of the next nine points to seize a 15-9 lead and cruised to a 25-17 match-clinching win. Baird saved her best for last with four kills on five attempts, while Sandberg and Haynie led the way defensively with three blocks each. Utah hit .320 in the final frame and held the Cowgirls to a .030 mark while outblocking Wyoming 4.5 to 1.
Wyoming (5-19, 4-11 MWC) was led by a match-high tying nine kills from Lauren Whitney, who registered a .042 hitting percentage. Both JennaRae Jester and Jenna Arneson totaled six kills apiece with Tasha Weishahn distributing 24 assists.
Utah ends its MWC season at Crimson Court against No. 15 Colorado State Saturday at 1 p.m. The Utes will honor three senior players, Baird, Haynie and Toone, before the match.