Down two sets 25-17, and 25-14, the Cougars clawed back into the match with a 25-20 third set win and a 26-24 fourth set victory. WSU managed only five kills with five errors in 28 attacks in the fifth set as the Utes took the 15-8 win.
WSU freshman Kyra Holt led the match with 18 kills, and also had 14 digs and two aces. Camryn Irwin had a career-high 26 digs with 42 assists and a pair of aces. Jaicee Harris had 12 kills, 17 digs and four blocks while Ver’Leea Hardaway contributed 11 kills and three blocks. Marcelina Glab led the team with seven blocks and Kate Sommer tallied 21 digs.
Utah’s Erin Redd-Brandon led the Utes with 16 kills, hitting .467, and had five blocks. Bailey Bateman led the match with eight blocks while Lea Adolph had 24 digs. Utah out-dug WSU 104 to 85 and out-blocked the Cougars 13.5 to 10. Utah hit .253 for the match with 69 kills and held WSU to a .110 hitting percentage with 55 kills.
“It seemed like we could do nothing right those first two sets and you can’t start out that way,” WSU Head Coach Jen Greeny said. “We really put ourselves into a hole and in the Pac-12 it’s really hard to fight back out of that. We really need to limit those unforced errors. Utah is a good blocking team and that may have gotten into our hitters’ heads. Every night we have to come out with the same mentality and the same focus and I didn’t think that was there tonight.”
WSU travels to Boulder to take on Colorado (2-1, 10-3) Sunday, Oct. 6, in an 11 a.m. PT broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks. The Buffs upset No. 1 Washington Friday night, 3-1.