The Utah volleyball returns to Salt Lake City after a tough road trip to Arizona. The Utes dropped both matches to Arizona State and Arizona, but are hoping to have the home court advantage when they host the No. 19-ranked Trojans of USC and the No. 15-ranked UCLA Bruins.
Utah is looking to change their fortunes today when they host USC (13-9, 6-6 Pac 12) at 6 p.m. MT in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. History won't be on the Utes side as they have a 1-13 record all time vs the Trojans, and 0-5 in Salt Lake City. The Trojans are 4-2 on the road this season in Pac 12 play. Utah lost 3-1 earlier this season at USC. Junior Samanth Bricio leads the Trojans in service aces with with 65. She leads the Pac 12 with 0.79 service aces per set. She also leads her squad in kills with 332, and is second on the team in digs with 238. Sophomore Taylor Whittingham leads the team in digs with 369.
Saturday is no easier when the Utes host the UCLA Bruins (16-7, 7-5 Pac 12) Saturday at 2:00 PM. The Bruins also hold an impressive series record leading 15-2 all time versus the Utes. The Utes fought hard last time, but lost in five sets to the Bruins in California. UCLA lead the Pac 12 and the Nation in kills and assists. Senior Karsta Lowe leads the Pac 12 and Nation with 5.96 Kills per set, and her 477 kills on the season puts her at fifth in the country.
The Utes are 6-2 at home this season, and 2-2 in Pac 12 play. Utah is led by Senior Chelsey Schofield-Olsen 263 kills, and fellow Senior Shelby Dalton has 228 kills on the season. Senior Bailey Bateman leads the team with 94 blocks, and Kalee Kirby has a team high 464 assists.
All their skills will be tested as they face another couple daunting Pac 12 top 25 teams, as they hope to reverse their fortunes versus the LA schools, and fortunes in the conference.