All good things must come to an end. For No. 23-ranked Utah volleyball, they and No. 1-ranked Stanford came into Friday with winning streaks, but the Cardinal showed why they are the top team in the country, adding to their now 27 straight wins.
The first set the Utes came out looking like a top 25 team, wearing the same black uniforms that they've donned throughout their four-match winning streak. The Utes looked Stanford's equal as they traded points, and both squads evened the match numerous times. Towards the end of the set the Cardinal, who had 18 kills in the set, pushed their lead to 22-18. The Utes rallied with some of their 15 kills, but came up short 25-23.
The second set started out pretty even before Stanford began to pull away toward the end. A couple big runs by the Cardinal, the Utes lost the set 25-15 and found themselves down 2-0 in the match.
The third set seemed as thou Stanford would run away with the set and match. Stanford freshman Merete Lutz (6-foot-8), and junior Inky Ajanaku, proved why they are two of the best in the country. The Utes were back on their heels, and many of their attempts were met by blocks at the net. The Utes had a hard time putting offense together. Some of their points came by errors by Stanford. The Utes found themselves down 24-14, and match point for the Cardinal. As the Stanford crowd came to their feet, the Utes had their backs to the wall and played like it. A service error by Stanford got the Utes started. Then a kill by Chelsey Schofield-Olsen, a couple more Stanford errors, and the Utes looked like they were going to push for the set. Cardinal Senior Morgan Boukather crushed those hopes, as she sent the final kill to win the set and match.
Scofield-Olsen led the team with eight of the Utes 35 kills. The team finished with a .117 hitting percentage, as apposed to Stanford's .327.
Utah (16-12, 6-11) will hope for a better result Sunday as they travel to Cal. Despite their record, Cal should be a tough test for the Utes, as it took five sets for the Utes to beat the Bears in Salt Lake City earlier this season.