Lori Baird had seven blocks in Utah's 3-0 quarterfinal win over Wyoming today.
Nov. 24, 2005
LAS VEGAS - The No. 3-seeded University of Utah volleyball team (20-8 overall) advanced to the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament with a 3-0 victory over the No. 6-seeded Wyoming Cowgirls this afternoon.
Game scores were 30-24, 30-23 and 30-18 as Wyoming falls to 12-16 for the year.
"I thought we played a complete match," remarked head coach Beth Launiere. "We stayed in control the entire time and every time they got a run, we answered.
"That was one of our best blocking matches of the year. We averaged six blocks per game. That's off the charts!"
The Utes will play the winner of the No. 2 Colorado State/No.7 New Mexico match on Friday, Nov. 25, at 5 p.m. (PST). The match will be televised on CSTV.
The victory marks the Utes' seventh straight appearance in the conference semifinals and the fourth straight time they have swept their first-round opponent.
The Utes hit a swift .342 in bagging the three-game win. Airial Salvo led the way for the Utes in tally 12 kills on .290 hitting. Shelly Sommerfeldt led all players in hitting .370 on the day. She turned in an 11-kill effort.
Shannon Krug engineered the attack in dishing out a match-high 38 assists. She had seven digs and two blocks as well.
The Utes held the Cowgirls to a meager .102 hitting and out-blocked them, 18-3.5. Emillie Toone had 10 total blocks and nearly had a double-double with nine kills on .412 hitting. Whitney Webb tallied eight blocks while Lori Baird had seven and Sommerfeldt six.
Danielle Leichliter led from the back row in collecting a team-best 13 digs.
An 11-0 Utah run spelled doom for the Cowgirls in game one. Wyoming held the lead early in the frame, 9-8, but Utah rattled off 11 unanswered points to take the 19-9 lead. The Cowgirls rallied but couldn't cut the lead to fewer than three, 26-23. Sommerfeldt led the way for Utah in game one, registering a team-best five kills.
Game two saw the Utes pull away with an early 10-5 lead. But, the scrappy Cowgirls reeled the Utes back in and made it a nip-and-tuck affair. It was a one-point Utah favor for a good portion of the way with Utah never seeing its lead extend beyond three points. However, Utah finally surged past Wyoming late, building a 27-22 lead en route to the seven-point win.
Utah's defense powered it to a game three victory. It held the Cowgirls to -.026 hitting in the final stanza and forced them to commit 12 errors (to only 11 kills). The Utes benefited from an early 9-2 run to take a 13-8 lead and engineered another 6-1 run to take a 21-13 lead.
Kelsey Loop and Rachel Smith led Wyoming with nine kills each while Tasha Weishahn's 31 assists also paced the Cowgirls. Defensively, Michelle Weydert's 15 digs led the way as did Lauren Scott's two total blocks.