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Utah Volleyball Hosts Bay Area Schools

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Utah volleyball hosts the northern California schools in Pac-12 showdowns in the newly renovated Huntsman Center.
Utah volleyball hosts the northern California schools in Pac-12 showdowns in the newly renovated Huntsman Center.
University of Utah Athletics

The Utah volleyball team (11-6 and 1-5 Pac 12) will have the opportunity to host the first event in the newly renovated John M. Huntsman center this weekend when they host the two Pac-12 teams from northern California. The Utes take on Cal tonight at 5:00 p.m. MT, and Saturday the Utes will match up against No. 1-ranked Stanford at 2:00 p.m. MT.

The Utes are hitting .238 this season, and they're averaging 13.35 kills per set. They are currently 10th in the Pac 12 standings. Utah's 2.62 blocks per set. ranks them fourth in the conference and 30th in the nation in that category. Freshman Adora Anae is playing her way into the rotation, having recorded a season high 18 kills at UCLA last week. Senior Shelby Dalton matched Anae with 18 kills in the same match, which for her was also a season high. Chelsey Schofield-Olsen is now ninth on Utah's all-time kills list with 1,212 career kills.

The Cal Bears are .500 on the season at 8-8, but are 0-6 in Pac 12 play. This match up may be what the Utes need to get back on the winning side of the ledger, as they dropped their last two matches on their trip to southern California. The Bears are riding an 11-game winless streak in Pac 12 play dating back to last season. Cal's opposition this season is hitting .226 against them, which ranks them at the bottom of the league, while the Bears are hitting .215 this season. They average 11.82 assists, and 13.21 digs, along with 12.48 kills and 2.17 digs per set.

Less than 24 hours later, the Utes will have their second match of the weekend against the top team in the Pac-12 and the nation, the Stanford Cardinal. The largest crowd to see a Utah Volleyball match was two years ago when 2,218 came to watch Utah host Stanford. This season the No. 1 Cardinal (16-0 and 6-0 Pac 12) come in with a 25 match unbeaten streak.  The last time they lost a regular season match, was almost a calendar year ago when they lost 3-2 at home vs USC on October 30, 2014. Inky Ajanaku leads Stanford with 199 kills, and is one of five Cardinal players with over 100 kills this season. Madi Bugg leads the Cardinal and the nation with a .420 hitting percentage, and leads the team with 618 assists. Stanford is 5-0 vs the Utes all time in Pac-12 play. Another ranked team for the Utes, which seems to be a weekly occurrence in the Pac -12.