No. 25 Wildcats drop 3-1 decision at UtahPosted: Updated:
The trio of Shelby Dalton, Bailey Bateman and Chelsey Schofield combined for 33 kills to lift Utah (17-5, 6-4 Pac-12) past No. 25 Arizona 3-1 (27-29, 28-26, 25-20, 25-17) on Sunday afternoon inside the Huntsman Center.
Utah frustrated the Wildcats (15-7, 5-5 Pac-12) all match long at the net as the Utes recorded 20 blocks on the afternoon. Utah also out-hit Arizona .211 to .110. The Wildcats dropped to 1-6 on the road this season. Meanwhile, it was Utah's first victory over Arizona since Nov. 30, 2002 and just the fifth all-time.
Arizona freshman setter Penina Snuka recorded her league-leading 11th double-double of the season as she dished out 43 assists to go along with 13 digs. Madi Kingdon finished with a match-high 15 kills, while Halli Amaro and Olivia Magill added 12 kills and 10 kills, respectively. Magill also recorded a team-high seven blocks. Candace Nicholson led the Arizona defense with a team-high 19 digs.
Utah got off to a quick start as it took an early 4-1 lead; however, the Wildcats quickly closed the gap to tie the score after a 3-0 run. The Utes regained a three-point advantage at two different points, but Arizona was able to cut into the lead each time. Later in the set with the score tied 19-19, Utah won two straight points to gain a 21-19 lead. The Utes maintained the two-point lead and earned set point with the score 24-22. The Wildcats would not fold as Arizobal provided a kill and then Arizona got a block to tie the score. After the two teams battled back and forth for the next several points, Arizona got a kill and a clinching block by Magill to take the set, 29-27.
The Utes grabbed three of the first four points in the second frame, but the Wildcats came back with three straight scores to tie the set two more times and would eventually work to a 13-10 advantage. Utah came back with three straight scores of its own for the fourth tie of the set at 16-16. From there, the Cats built a little momentum to gain a 19-17 edge, but Utah took seven of the next eight to grab a 24-21 lead. Arizona then took three consecutive to even the match at 24-24. The two teams would trade points two more times before Utah took the 28-26 victory. There were a total of nine ties in the set, while Utah held an advantage in hitting (.204-.153) and blocking (6.5-2.0).
The Utes started the third frame with a 7-1 spurt, forcing the Wildcats to burn both of their timeouts. After the slow start, the Cats tied the score at 13-13 after a 12-6 run. Utah eventually was able to build a five-point lead at 22-17, thanks to back-to-back Erin Redd-Brandon aces, and would go on to a 25-20 victory. The Utes limited the Wildcats to a .143 efficiency on the attack and earned a 4.0-2.0 advantage in team blocks.
The fourth frame would be knotted five times before Utah put together a 13-6 run to earn an 18-11 advantage. before clinching the match with a 25-17 win. The Wildcats could never cut into the lead as Utah took the set 25-17, clinching the match. The Utes outhit the Wildcats in the finale, .300-.027.
The Wildcats close out their four-match road swing with matches at Oregon and Oregon State this weekend. Arizona opens the weekend at Oregon on Saturday at 7 p.m. before taking on Oregon State on Sunday at 4 p.m.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaVBall.
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