SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah volleyball team closed out its opening day with a sweep over No. 7 Kentucky on Friday, August 30 in the Huntsman Center.
It's the 11th time in Utah's history they've beaten a top-10 team and the first top-10 win since 2017 when the Utes beat Washington.
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Dani Drews led the team with 11 kills while also having seven digs and 5.0 blocks. Berkeley Oblad had a great return to the court after sitting out last year with an injury. She had nine kills hitting .412 and 5.0 blocks.
Drews. Gets. Kills.— Utah Volleyball (@UtahVolleyball) August 31, 2019
S3 | Utah 13, UK 10 pic.twitter.com/9WD9OMrOoR
"This match was for sure a team win," Oblad said. "Everyone wanted that and played their role and we got it done."
On the day, Oblad had 18 kills and 13.0 blocks being a huge presence for Utah in the middle in both matches.
"It's hard to come back and it's everyone's fear after surgery that it's going to happen again," Oblad said. "I think the last 12 months was hard, but these last two weeks was the hardest to get ready to go into the game. I was definitely ready tonight. It was awesome and exciting for me to know that my body is ready to go."
With the first set tied at 18, Utah closed out the set on a 7-1 run giving them a 1-0 lead in the match. Drews and Kenzie Koerber got the final two kills in the set to shut the door on the Wildcats.
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In the second set, Utah came out like a tornado going up 18-9 after a 12-2 run on Kentucky. The Utes didn't mess around with the lead going up 2-0 in the match, winning the final three points of the set.
Berk gets the kill and we go up by two!— Utah Volleyball (@UtahVolleyball) August 31, 2019
S1 | Utah 20, UK 18 pic.twitter.com/V51nHDWEmy
Utah built an early 10-5 lead in the third, but the nationally-ranked Wildcats fought back to get within one a couple of times. In front of their home crowd, Utah rose up and Drews got the final kill to seal the match.
Saige Ka'aha'aina-Torres finished the match with 29 assists.
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The Utes defense held Kentucky to hitting just .056 on the night with 13.0 blocks and 6.0 of those coming in the decisive third set.
Utah has one more match in the Utah Volleyball Classic on Saturday, August 31 against No. 23 Cal Poly at 5 p.m. in the Huntsman Center.