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A tough start kept Colorado women’s volleyball team on an uphill battle against No.18-ranked Utah Wednesday evening in a 3-0 (25-11, 25-22, 25-23) sweep in Salt Lake City.

Colorado (8-3, 0-1 Pac-12) allowed Utah (9-3, 1-0 Pac-12) to start the match scoring the first seven points and rolling to a 25-11 first set victory. The team closed the gap in sets two and three, but late Ute runs led to the sweep.

“I thought Utah was very good, credit to them, they started off really strong. They have lots of really talented players. I was disappointed of our effort and execution in set one and we were working to catch up from that moment on,” Colorado head coach Jesse Mahoney said. “We were really loose with how we blocked and defended. We struggled against their block to sideout as well as we could. We need more than one player scoring well to be successful.”

Senior Justine Spann started off with a slow two kills in the first set but picked up action and went into a hit-for-hit battle with Utah’s All-American Dani Drews. Spann finished tying Drews for a match-high 14 kills and had a .216 hitting percentage, putting down six kills in the second and third set.

At setter, Jenna Ewert picked up another double-double with 28 assists and 10 digs. She also had a kill and was a part of a pair of blocks. Rachel Whipple led the Buffs with a match-high 12 digs, while CU led the battle up front with seven blocks, paced by Hart’s five.

Hart also was an offensive factor for Colorado with six kills and a .294 hitting percentage. A trio of freshmen led by Jill Schneggenburger worked at the outside and rightside positions. Schneggenburger had six kills while Sterling Parker added three at the right side. Elissa Alcantara came into the match in the third set and added a spark with three kills on six swings with a team-high .333 hitting percentage.

The Buffaloes have short rest before taking on Oregon State Friday evening in Corvallis. The team will look to rebound quickly and hold off starting the season 0-2 in conference play. The Beavers are 1-5 against Colorado under Head Coach Jesse Mahoney with the lone win in Corvallis in his first season.

No. 18 Utah 3, Colorado 0

Colorado 11 22 23
Utah 25 25 25

Kills — CU: Spann,Justine (14), Hart,Meegan (6), Schneggenburger,Jill (6); UTAH: Drews, Dani (14), Koerber, Kenzie (10), Oblad, Berkeley (10)
Aces — CU: Schneggenburger,Jill (1), Whipple,Rachel (1); UTAH: Koerber, Kenzie (3), Oblad, Berkeley (2), Ka’aha’aina-Torres,S (1)
Blocks — CU: Hart,Meegan (5), Parker,Sterling (4), Ewert,Jenna (2); UTAH: Koerber, Kenzie (3), Oblad, Berkeley (3), Ka’aha’aina-Torres,S (2)
Assists — CU: Ewert,Jenna (28), Spann,Justine (1), Perry,Savannah (1); UTAH: Ka’aha’aina-Torres,S (40), Doehrmann, Brianna (3), Koerber, Kenzie (2)
Digs — CU: Whipple,Rachel (12), Ewert,Jenna (10), Spann,Justine (8); UTAH: Doehrmann, Brianna (12), Koerber, Kenzie (11), Drews, Dani (10)

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