SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The 15th-ranked USD volleyball team (4-3) fell at No. 18 Utah 3-2 Friday evening in the first match of the Utah Volleyball Classic. Multiple Toreros notched career-highs, but it wasn’t enough as the Utes outlasted the Toreros in a five set match that came down to the wire (22-25, 25-17, 18-25, 25-22, 14-16).
Jayden Kennedy (20-42) and Roxie Wiblin (17-37) both set career-highs for kills and attacks, while Kaity Edwards tied her career best with 14 kills in 25 attacks. Lizzy Tardieu had a career-high 16 digs while just missing a double-double with nine assists. Senior setter Kristen Gengenbacher recorded her second double-double in a row with a season-high 54 assists and 15 digs.
As a team, USD had a hitting percentage of .238, while Utah hit .269. The Toreros had more digs than the Utes (60-56), but Utah out-blocked USD 13-7.
The first set was back-and-forth with each team trading scoring runs. A 6-1 USD run put them up 16-13, but Utah responded with a 7-2 run to give the Utes a 20-18 lead. The Toreros rallied to go up 22-21, only to see the Utes finish the set with four unanswered points.
The Toreros led by as many as seven points in the second set and hit .370, their best of the evening. However, USD struggled in the third set, hitting just .079 with ten hitting errors.
USD would regroup in the fourth set, winning 25-22 despite Utah posting their best hitting percentage of the night (.324).
In the decisive fifth set, the Toreros fell behind 7-3, but rallied to score seven of the next eight points to take a 10-8 lead. The score was tied at 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 until Utah took the last two points to win the set and the match. It was the Toreros’ first five set match of the young season.
Utah had four players with double-digit kills, led by Adora Anae’s 19. Bailey Choy had a double-double with 50 assists and a team-high 14 digs.
The Toreros continue the Utah Volleyball Classic on Saturday with matches against Missouri at 9:00 a.m. and Green Bay 4:00 p.m. Missouri beat Green Bay 3-1 earlier Friday evening.
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