The University of Utah's volleyball team completes the regular season at home tonight and Saturday hoping to gain momentum toward the Mountain West Conference tournament that begins next Wednesday in Las Vegas.

In the Utes' way tonight is No. 25 UNLV, 12-2 and 21-3 and in a close battle with 17th-ranked Colorado State for the regular-season MWC championship. It's San Diego State (4-10, 12-13) on Saturday. Both matches at Crimson Court are at 7 p.m. Both teams hold 3-1 wins over the Utes on their home courts.

The MWC tournament is probably the only chance the Utes, 7-7 in MWC play and 11-14 overall, have to advance to the NCAA tournament for a 10th straight time.

They have a good RPI, thanks to a strong schedule assembled with the thought that the team would remain a powerhouse — before losing what would have been three starters from a record-setting 28-win team for various reasons last spring and summer. Without those players, the Utes have been streaky and have lost three of the last four.

Against UNLV, Utah leads the all-time series 23-2, but the Rebels have a 10-match win streak. Lauren Miramontes leads the Rebels with 4.52 kills per game, .307 hitting percentage and 1.13 blocks per game.

San Diego State senior Aime Cordeiro has the all-time MWC digs record with 1,905; Ute Connie Dangerfield is third (1,465).

Utah is second in the MWC in frustrating opposing hitters, keeping them to a .176 hitting percentage. Senior Lori Baird is second in the MWC and 15th nationally with 1.54 blocks per game.


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