Utah volleyball loses five-set marathon against Texas in Sweet 16

Stanford, Calif. • The Utah volleyball team jumped out to a lead against the University of Texas and was two points from victory in the fifth set before losing 16-14 to the Longhorns and dropping a 3-2 decision in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 on Friday night at Stanford.

Texas rallied to win 25-19, 16-25, 24-26, 25-21, 16-14 and advance to the Elite 8 against either Stanford or Wisconsin.

Adora Anae led four Utes in double-digit kills with 25, followed by Carly Trueman with 13, Berkeley Oblad with 12 and Tawnee Luafalemana. Bailey Choy had 45 assists, and Brianna Doehrmann had 30 digs — Anae, Choy and Shannon Scully each added 10 digs.

Texas led throughout the decisive fifth set, going up 4-1 and keeping the lead before Utah rallied to tie it at 11 on a kill by Anae. Micaya White had two kills to make it 13-12 Texas, and Yaazie Bedart-Ghani’s kill gave the Longhorns a match point that Utah saved by a kill by Oblad. Bedart-Ghani’s kill gave Texas another match point, where another kill by Bedart-Ghani finished it.

Texas used a pair of service aces to take a 12-7 lead in the first set, and extended the lead to 18-9 before the Utes narrowed the deficit to 19-13. Chiaka Ogbogu ended the set with a kill to take the first set.

Texas jumped out to a 7-5 lead in the second set before the Utes hit a groove, surging to a 15-10 lead on two kills by Anae and several Longhorns errors. Luafalemana had two kills, separated by another Texas error, to extend the lead to 20-13 and Utah soon wrapped up the set with a Texas attack error.

The third set was tight throughout, with neither team leading by more than three points with Utah holding a 19-16 edge. A block by Anae gave Utah set point at 24-23, which was saved by Texas, before Kenzie Koerber and Dani Barton had consecutive kills for a 2-1 lead.

Texas again jumped out to a lead in the fourth set, going ahead 15-11 and extending it to 20-14 before Utah attempted to rally, winning seven of the next 11 points to get within 24-21 after two kills by Oblad. A bad set for Utah sent the match to a fifth set.