SALT LAKE CITY — It may not get the hype that the football game gets, but the Utah-BYU volleyball rivalry is infused with just as much passion.

The two teams, both ranked in the Top 25 Coaches Poll, will clash Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

Both No. 16 Utah and No. 14 BYU have just one loss each. The Utes dropped the second game of the season to No. 12 Kentucky, while the Cougars were upset by Baylor at a tournament last week.

The Utes entered the season with high hopes after earning their best preseason rankings from the other Pac-12 coaches — No. 4. Previously their best preseason ranking was No. 8, while their best finish is fifth.

“I’m happy that the conference is showing us respect,” said Utah coach Beth Launiere. “I think that respect is there. I think it’s deserved. Now, on the other side of that, we want to be in, at least, the top four at the end of the season.”

Launiere believes that respect comes from Utah’s senior leaders, as well as their new freshman class.

“Certainly, it’s respect for Adora (Anae), Tawnee (Luafalemana) and Carly (Trueman),” she said. “I think Bailey Choy, they know …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

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