Utah Volleyball Advances To Sweet 16 After Sweeping No. 14 BYU
PROVO, Utah – The Utah Volleyball program is headed to their fourth Sweet Sixteen in program history after sweeping No. 14 BYU in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament (25-15, 25-15, 25-15).
Back in September, both Utah and BYU Women’s Volleyball teams met in a competitive four-set match that resulted in a Cougar victory. BYU took care of Utah in four sets in that match. On Saturday, it was a completely different story. Utah had a laser focus that had BYU reeling the entire night.
Utah had nearly a 40 percent hit rate to BYU’s 10 percent in the win. The win sends Utah to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2017, the second appearance in the Pac-12 era.
For BYU, the loss ends their run of seven straight Sweet 16 appearances and 21 consecutive NCAA Tournament victories played at the Smith Fieldhouse.
Winners in 10 of their last 12 matches, the Utes are playing their best volleyball of the season at the right time. Junior outside hitter Dani Drews led the way with 17 kills, six digs, and one block in the victory.
As a team, Utah had 49 kills, 41 digs, and 12 blocks against a BYU team that suffered only their fifth loss at the Smith Fieldhouse since Heather Olmstead became the Cougars head coach in 2015.
The Utes are now 24-9 overall on the season and will face the winner of the No. 3 Stanford/Cal Poly match. Utah has faced Stanford twice already in Pac-12 conference play with the Cardinal winning both matches.