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Utah Utes volleyball: Utes down Oregon State in four sets

By Mike DeVine

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Oct. 26 2012 10:58 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY – Sophomore middle blocker Erin Redd turned in 12 kills without an error on 17 attempts for a career-high .706 hitting percentage to help the University of Utah volleyball team to a 3-1 win over Oregon State (25-20, 25-12, 19-25, 25-18) on Friday at Crimson Court.

Utah (12-12, 3-8 Pac-12) has now won three of its last four Pac-12 Conference matches at Crimson Court.

“It feels great to have a stretch like that going,” Utah head coach Beth Launiere said. “And it sounds even better because I didn't realize it. In this conference, you have to put your nose in the ground and work every day to get better.”

The Utes outhit the Beavers, .328 to .139 and also claimed a 46-41 edge in digs, while team blocks were even at nine apiece.

"We have the ability to be a very efficient and powerful offense,” Launiere said. “Our setters did a great job running our offense tonight, setting people at the right time and in the right place."

Redd posted a team-high 12 kills on 17 swings without a miscue for a career-high .706 hitting percentage to go with two digs and two blocks. This was her 10th match of the season with double-digit kills, as well as the 37th of her career.

"Erin was ready for this match,” Launiere said. “It was a good matchup for her. We knew we wanted to get the ball to her as much as possible and she was ready and they couldn't stop her."

Morgan Odale joined Redd in double-figures with 11 kills for her 12th match of 10 or more kills this season and the 50th of her career. She also served a match high of three aces to go with four digs.

Chelsey Schofield turned in a season-high 17 digs, which was her eighth double-digit dig match of the year and the 23rd of her career. She also had nine kills with a .316 efficiency on the attack, barely missing her seventh double-double of this season, as well as the 15th of her career.

Setters McKenzie Odale and Kendall Cygan combined for 48 assists and 11 digs, which was the fourth time this season that both were over 20 assists in a single match. McKenzie Odale dished out a match-high 26 assists to go with four digs, while Cygan added 22 assists and seven digs.

"They are both doing a great job,” Launiere said. “They both ran the middle well and just got the ball where it needed to go."

Sophomore rightside hitter Alli Spurrier pounded down a career-high eight kills on 15 attempts and just a pair of miscues for a .400 hitting percentage.

Shelby Dalton and Bailey Bateman turned in seven kills apiece. Dalton turned in a .316 hitting percentage, needing just 16 attempts for her seven kills, while committing just a pair of errors. Bateman paced the Ute defense with seven blocks, the 16th time this season she has led or tied for the team lead in blocking.

Also defensively, libero Nikki Sim had 10 digs for her fifth double-figure-dig effort in Utah’s last six matches.

The Beavers took four of the first five scores of the opening set and tied the set for the first time at five points apiece. OSU then scored three straight points to seize an 8-5 lead before Utah went on a 6-1 run to grab an 11-8 lead. The Utes would lead by as many as seven (19-12) on the way to a 25-20 first-set victory. Morgan Odale turned in five kills on 10 swings with just one error, while Utah hit .448 in the opener compared to a .182 mark for the Beavers. The Utes are 11-3 this season when winning the opening set of a match.

Utah turned the tables in the second frame after grabbing the first five points of the second frame. The Utes would lead throughout the remainder of the set and earn a 25-12 victory as Redd totaled five kills on six swings for an .833 hitting percentage. Utah hit .308 in the frame, compared to a -.125 mark for the Beavers. Utah is 9-0 this season when winning the first two sets of a match.

OSU jumped out to a 5-1 edge at the beginning of the third set, but Utah fought back to within two (8-6). Unfortunately, the Beavers were able to work their lead up to as many as six points, with the last instance coming at 17-11. The Utes countered with four consecutive scores to cut their lead to as many as two (17-15). Oregon State came away with a 25-19 win in third set over the Utes to extend the match as Redd turned in four more kills on six attempts for a .667 clip against the Beavers.

“OSU did a good job of not going away,” Launiere said. “They have some intangibles that make them a good team so we knew it was going to be tough to put them away. We showed a lot of composure tonight. That is something we have worked on in practice. Even when it was tight or we were behind, we showed a lot of confidence."

Utah claimed three of the opening four points of the fourth frame, but OSU forced the second tie of the frame at four points apiece. The Utes reeled off three consecutive to earn a 7-4 edge and their advantage would grow as large as four (14-10) before the Beavers tied the set for the third time at 17 points apiece. Utah put together a 3-0 run to seize a 20-17 edge on the way to a match-clinching 25-18 win in the fourth set. In the finale, Schofield had four kills on seven swings with one error for a .429 clip, while Sim registered four of her 10 digs. The Utes claimed a .300 to .075 edge in hitting percentage in the deciding set.

Oregon State (13-10, 3-8 Pac-12) was led by 16 kills and five digs from Camille Saxton.

The Utes take on No. 3 Oregon on Sunday at 11 a.m. MT. The match will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network.

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