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SALT LAKE CITY – Sophomore middle blocker Erin Redd connected on eight kills and had a match-high six blocks to help the University of Utah volleyball team to a 3-0 win (25-18, 25-14, 25-16) over Cal State Northridge in the fourth match of the Utah Classic Saturday at Crimson Court.
In its second consecutive sweep, Utah (2-0) outhit Cal State Northridge .284 to .009 in the match and held an impressive 12.5 to 2.0 edge in team blocks.
“I talked to McKenzie (Odale) about evening out the set distribution to make sure that everyone is getting the work that they need, especially early in the season,” Utah head coach Beth Launiere said. “I thought she did a nice job of that.”
Redd hit for her eight kills on 15 swings for a .533 hitting percentage to go along with six blocks and two digs.
“We are so much further ahead in our blocking than we were a year ago,” Launiere said. “It’s probably the biggest area of improvement for us, especially for (Redd). She’s really starting to dominate the net like I knew she could. She’s just technically gotten a lot better."
Sophomore outside hitter Morgan Odale turned in a match-high 10 kills to go with seven digs and two blocks.
Senior middle blocker Danielle Killpack had seven kills on seven attempts for a perfect 1.000 hitting efficiency to go along with four blocks.
Coordinating the Ute attack, junior setter McKenize Odale distributed a career-high 34 assists and had 13 digs for her third career double-double and her first this season. She also pitched in two blocks.
“The thing about McKenzie is that she just makes good plays out of not so good plays,” Launiere said. “Even if we don’t pass as well as we’d like, she can make a good setup because of her athleticism. She makes us better on a lot of plays, especially our out-of-system stuff.”
Defensively, libero Nikki Sim recorded a team-high 14 digs for the second consecutive match from the Ute back row.
There were four ties in the first part of the opening set before a Killpack block spurred Utah’s 5-0 run and a 13-10 lead, its first advantage of the set. The Utes led by as much as eight (22-14) en route to a 25-18 first-set win.
The Utes limited the Matadors to a .068 hitting percentage while achieving a .233 mark themselves. They also outblocked CSUN 5-1. Four kills by Morgan Odale led the Utah offense as well as three kills each from Killpack, Schofield and Redd. McKenzie Odale had 12 assists and six digs.
Defensively, Killpack had had four blocks, while Sim turned in a team-high seven digs in the Ute back row.
Utah took four of the first five points of the second set and went up 16-5 on the Matadors after taking nine consecutive points. The Utes led by as much as 12 (18-6) and earned a 25-14 victory in the second set. Utah limited CSUN to a .069 hitting percentage while hitting for a .433 mark while outblocking the Matadors, 4.5 to 1. Killpack registered four more kills in the set, while Redd added four blocks.
The Utes crept out to a 5-2 edge in the third set and worked their lead to as much as 10 points at 15-5 via a 4-0 run during their 25-16 match-clinching victory.
Cal State Northridge (0-2) was led by six kills from Casey Hinger and 15 digs from Cindy Ortiz.
The Utes conclude their Utah Classic slate tonight at 7 p.m. against Northwestern. Watch the match live at http://utahutes.cstv.com/allaccess/?media=259500 or follow the live stats at http://utahutes.cstv.com/gametracker/launch/gt_wvolley.html?event=990770&school=utah&sport=wvolley&camefrom=&startschool=&.
Mike DeVine is the assistant athletic communications director for the University of Utah