Kiana Rogers posted 32 assists and four kills on the night. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
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PROVO -- Hard-fought sets by both the Cougars (9-8, 2-6 MWC) and the Utes in the Deseret First Dual Rivalry Series finished with the University of Utah (14-4, 6-2 MWC) winning its seventh-straight victory in the last four weeks, sweeping BYU at home in the Smith Fieldhouse in three sets (25-23, 25-21, 25-17).
“We showed a lot of character but we’d like to get an earlier start,” said BYU head volleyball coach Shay Goulding, whose team had success during the match but had to continually battle back from early deficits.
While BYU did score the first point of set one, Utah achieved the early start, leading until BYU tied it up at 20-20, forcing Utah to call its second timeout to regroup. For the first time since the beginning of the match, BYU took the lead at 21-20 with a huge kill from Rachel Dyer. However, Utah wasn’t finished as both teams battled for the lead. Utah came away victorious with a 25-23 win in the first set, which ended when a Utah serve was thought to be long but fell in for an ace to give the Utes the first set, 25-23.
In the second set the Cougars again scored the first point, but the Utes took a quick lead once more. After being challenged for the entire set and the score tied up multiple times, Utah came out with another win to lead the match 2-0.
The third set proved to be a repeat of the first two as BYU was not able to force another set, falling to Utah 25-17.
Bryn Porter led BYU in kills with 13 while Kayla Walker added 10. Dyer led BYU in hitting percentage at .364 as she scored on 6-of-11 attempts on the night. Libero Morgan Lloyd led the Cougars with 12 digs.
Utah middle blocker Lori Baird had 11 kills while hitting .304 and tallying an amazing 16 blocks. Utah setter Stephanie Shardlow had 22 assists on the night while libero Keisha Fisher had 11 digs.
The BYU women’s volleyball team will next travel to Colorado Springs, Colo, on Wednesday to take on Air Force at 7 p.m. MT.