Utewrap: The week in Utah sports, Aug. 25-31
Fall is in the air, and so are footballs, soccer balls and volleyballs. Intermittently, at least.
It is unfortunately the way of things that Utah’s football team received most of our attention for beating up on Idaho State while the Ute women’s soccer team notched 2-0 and 2-1 victories and Utah’s volleyball team opened the season with a three-match sweep on Crimson Court.
We’ll get out to some of their action soon.
In the meantime, and throughout the season, swing by sltrib.com on Monday mornings for a recap of what you (and we) may have missed during the previous week.
FOOTBALL » If you don’t know, you probably don’t care, but Utah were less than gracious hosts to Fiesta Bowl standouts Spencer Toone and Steve Fifita, routing their former team 56-14 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in their season opener. Also this week, NFL teams announced cuts as they pared their rosters down to 53 for the season, and it was a tough week all-around for dream-chasing. Our Brennan Smith compiled a list of Utah players who didn’t make it (or at least not yet). It wasn’t all bad news, though, and Kyle Goon was able to catch up with Tenny Palepoi after Utah’s standout defensive tackle heard he’d made the San Diego Chargers. Other notes from this week: Utah plans to install a $4 million to $5 million scoreboard at Rice-Eccles by the 2015 season, and UCLA transfer defensive end Kylie Fitts will have three years to play two starting next year, unless he obtains a hardship waiver from the NCAA.
Here’s our coverage of the first victory:
» Special teams stole the show Thursday night, as Kaelin Clay returned a punt and kick for a touchdown, Eric Rowe blocked a kick and Tom Hackett showed why he’s considered one of the nation’s best punters.
ON DECK » vs. Fresno State, 1 p.m. Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium (Story: Utah opens as a 7.5-point underdog despite Fresno’s loss to USC by 39 in the Bulldogs’ opener)
WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL » The Utes were picked to finish just 10th in the Pac-12, despite a wealth of experience and an abundance of young talent. Friday at Crimson Court, they began making their case in the rankings that matter. Utah swept Montana State 3-0 behind double-doubles from senior leaders Chelsey Schofield-Olsen (12 kills, 12 digs) and Shelby Dalton (10 kills, 10 digs) and strong contributions from freshmen Eliza Katoa, Adora Anae, Jessie Jorgensen and Carly Trueman. (Click here for video of Beth Launiere, Bailey Bateman and Katoa talking about the win.) In a doubleheader Saturday, Schofield-Olsen and Bateman — named Utah Classic MVP — led Utah to a host sweep with wins against New Mexico State and Missouri State. (Click for photo galleries of Missouri State and Montana State.)
ON DECK » vs. Cal Poly, 11 a.m. Saturday at Moraga, Calif.; at Saint Mary’s, 7 p.m. Saturday at Moraga Calif.