ANAE HITS .760 AS UTAH SWEEPS CINCINNATI
Senior outside hitter Adora Anae hit at a blazing .760 clip, racking up 19 kills with no errors in 25 swings, in the sweep.
Utah def. Cincinnati 3-0 (25-10, 25-18, 25-17)
Utah moves to 1-0; Cincinnati drops to 0-1
LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 23 Utah was nearly flawless offensively, hitting at a .426 clip with just six errors, in a season-opening sweep of Cincinnati at the Bluegrass Battle on Friday afternoon.
The Utes won every major statistical category in the match and also benefitted from 23 Bearcat attack errors. Utah outdid UC 37-31 in kills, .426 to .089 in hitting percentage, 4-0 in aces, 33-28 in digs and 5-3 in blocks.
Senior outside hitter Adora Anae hit at a blazing .760 clip, racking up 19 kills with no errors in 25 swings. The second team All-American and All-Pac-12 honoree also chipped in nine digs and four assists. Senior middle blocker Tawnee Luafalemana added five kills and a team-best five blocks. Freshman outside Kenzie Koerber chipped in four stuffs. Freshman Shannon Scully led the defense with 10 digs.
Junior outside Carly Nolan paced the Bearcats with nine kills, but hit .000 for the match. Redshirt junior Jasmine Jones, a transfer from UNC Greensboro, added six kills and a block. Senior middle blocker Maya Muldrow registered four kills and a team-leading two blocks. Junior Jade Tingelhoff, the 2016 American Athletic Conference Setter of the Year, added a team-best 10 digs to her 22 assist tally for a double-double.
Utah raced out to a 6-1 lead in Set 1 with help from a pair of Luafalemana putaways. After giving up three straight points to Cincinnati, the Utes rebounded to push ahead 12-5. A five-point run, including four Bearcat miscues, put Utah ahead 18-7 and put the game out of reach. Cincinnati did hold off one Ute set-point chance, before Anae closed the door at 25-10.
The teams split the first eight points of Set 2, before Utah pulled away with a 6-2 run, including a trio of Anae kills. Trailing 10-5, Cincinnati battled back to take a 12-11 lead with help from two blocks and two Utah miscues. The advantage was short-lived, however, as the Utes rallied with eight of the next 10 points, including five Bearcat errors. A UC hitting error wrapped up the 25-18 Utah victory.
In the finale, Utah went up 10-6 early and held off a mid-set rally for the 25-17 win. Cincinnati was within two at 13-11, but would get no closer. A kill by Koerber set up the Utes first match point attempt at 24-16. A putaway by Berkeley Oblad two serves later ended the match.
The Utes wrap up Day 1 in Lexington, Ky., with a battle against tournament hosts No. 14 Kentucky at 9 p.m. ET. The Bearcats look to rebound against Arkansas State at 6 p.m. ET.
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