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Utah Utes volleyball: Utes take four-set Senior Day win over Colorado

By Mike DeVine

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Nov. 23 2012 11:24 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY – Senior setter McKenzie Odale dished out 21 assists and six digs to help the University of Utah volleyball team earn a four-set victory over Colorado (14-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-16) in her final match at Crimson Court.

Utah (14-19, 5-15 Pac-12) did not have a block in the first two sets of the contest but came back to earn a 9.0 to 6.0 edge in team blocks over Colorado for the match. The Utes also outhit the Buffaloes .282 to .217 and had three players with 10 or more kills.

“McKenzie has just worked really hard to get where she is and I am proud of her,” Utah head coach Beth Launiere said. “No one works harder than McKenzie Odale and she deserves everything she gets.

"It just took us awhile to figure out their offense and their tempo. I felt like we would, we just had to get them figured out. They play a little differently with their tempo. So that made a huge difference.”

Odale tied her career high and set a new season-high with three service aces on the Buffaloes.

Sophomore outside hitter Chelsey Schofield posted team-highs of 14 digs and 13 kills to go with three blocks. The Provo, Utah, native has had double-doubles in eight of Utah’s final nine matches of the season. This was her 13th double-double this season and the 21st of her career. Schofield has had nine straight matches with 10 or more kills, 24 matches with double-digits in kills this season and 41 through the first two season of her career. She has 10 or more digs in 14 contests with 10 or more digs in 2012 and 29 over her career.

“[Schofield] is a great all around player,” Launiere said. “She plays the whole game and that is what has shown up with the double-doubles.”

Morgan Odale turned in her fifth double-double and the 20th of her career with 11 kills and 10 digs. She now has 55 career double-digit-kill efforts with 17 coming this season. She also matched her sister, McKenzie, with three service aces against CU.

Junior middle blocker Erin Redd had 12 kills on a match-high .600 hitting percentage for her second-straight match with 10 or more kills, her 14th this season and the 41st of her career. She also posted a team-high six blocks.

“Erin was just so big because she was just so determined tonight,” Launiere said. “Even with not the best of sets, she always finds a way to get kills and I just thought she was huge tonight.”

Sophomore libero Lea Adolph had 13 digs in the Ute back row to end her season with eighth straight double-figure-dig outings. She has had 10 or more digs in 14 matches this season and 18 times over her career.

Sophomore middle blocker Bateman ended the match with nine kills on 20 attempts for a .350 efficiency. She led Utah’s attack at the start by connecting on six of her first 10 attack attempts.

Freshman setter Kendall Cygan registered 21 assists and five digs in the contest.

The Utes claimed three of the opening four points of the match, but the Buffaloes came back to tie it for the second time at four points apiece. The set would be tied twice more (6) before CU went on 9-1 run to claim a 15-7 edge. Colorado led by as many as 11 (24-13) on the way to a 25-14 victory. Bateman had three kills, and Adolph turned in five digs in the opener. The Utes improved to 3-13 when dropping the first set of a match this season.

Utah claimed a 6-1 edge to start the second frame, and the Utes extended their lead to as many as 10 (16-6) during a 25-16 victory in the set. Bateman hit five kills on seven swings, and the Utes hit .517 in the second frame to even the match.

For the second straight set, the Utes took four of the opening five points before the Buffaloes. Utah worked its way to a four-point lead at 11-7 before a 5-1 CU run tied the set for the second time at 12 points apiece. The set was even four more times (16-16) before CU grabbed its first lead of the set at 18-16. The visitors led by as many as three (22-19) before back-to-back Ute blocks, a CU attack error and two consecutive Redd kills completed Utah’s 6-1 set-ending-stretch gave the home team a 25-23 victory. Morgan Odale, Schofield and Redd had three kills apiece as Utah outblocked CU, 4.0 to 0.0.

There would be four ties to start the fourth before the Utes grabbed a 9-4 advantage after putting together a 5-0 run. Utah extended its lead to as many as nine (20-11) on the way to a 25-16 match-clinching victory. Schofield and Redd each turned in four kills apiece in the finale as the Utes hit .303, compared to a .079 mark for the Buffaloes. Utah also outblocked its foes, 5.0 to 1.0.

Colorado (14-18, 4-16 Pac-12) was led by a 14-kill, seven-dig performance by Alexis Austin.

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