The Santa Clara Broncos invaded the Ute's home turf on Sunday afternoon and nearly knocked off the Utes at Crimson Court. In the end, Utah pulled out the victory in five games: 25-23, 24-26, 20-25, 25-19, 15-13.
"What a great match," said Coach Beth Launiere, "This was a fun, competitive match."
After falling behind 2-1, Launiere said she noticed her team was dropping their heads and she had to rally them and remind them this game is supposed to be fun.
"It took us a while to climb out of that hole," she said. "Both teams had to make significant adjustments. Some that aren't normally made until mid season."
Kathryn Haynie led the Utes with 21 kills and five service aces. Her five services aces were a career high and tied Lori Baird's school record. Three came in a row in the last game with the Utes trailing 11-12.
"I knew I had to go for it," she said.
And at the time it was looking bleak for the Utes, but she came through. Baird put down the game winning slam.
All American, Emillie Toone, didn't show big in the stats but she was responsible for several key points. In the first game after Haynie staked the Utes to a lead, the Broncos came roaring back. But then Toone smashed two key points to help ensure the victory. "The middle was open," said Toone, "because we had been going to the outside." But Toone is content to clog up the middle. "Blocking is my favorite," she said.
Chelsey Sandberg, a non starter from West Jordan, contributed significantly in this match. At the end of the forth game her hitting percentage was 1.000. She ended at .857, but it took a total team effort to win this match.In the fifth game, there were eight ties and three lead changes. "It was a match of ebb and flows," said Launiere, "We just kept upping the level of play."