Coming off one of the best seasons in program history that saw Utah win 24 matches and reach the Sweet 16, the Utes are looking to remain one of the country's top programs in 2018.
The Utes tallied a 24-10 overall record and notched their best Pac-12 record in program history by going 13-7 and finishing in fourth place in 2017. The program made its 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and won the Salt Lake City Regional to advance to the Sweet 16 for a third time.
However, there will be a different look to this team after losing three seniors who totaled 60 percent of the team's kills. The Utes do return seven players from last year's Sweet 16 team, including five starters.
Middle blocker Berkeley Oblad was an AVCA All-America, AVCA All-Pacific South Region and All-Pac-12 honorable mention selection. Oblad was third on the team with 300 kills and second on the team with 142 blocks last season.
Setter Bailey Choy enters her junior year having started 62 matches her first two seasons in a Ute uniform. A Pac-12 All-Academic second team pick, Choy is the eighth player in school history to become a member of the 2,000-assist club and the fifth player to net 1,000 assists in a season during the rally-scoring era.
Libero Brianna Doehrmann was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic first team in 2017. Her 3.40 digs per set ranked ninth in the Pac-12.
A pair of sophomore outside hitters made significant contributions last season. Dani Drews (formerly Barton) rounded out the team's top five in kills with 1.48 per set and hit .229. Kenzie Koerber ranked third on the team with 0.82 blocks per set and was sixth with 1.28 kills per set. Lauga Gauta will also play a prominent role this season.
For the second year in row, Utah's recruiting class was tabbed as top 30 in the nation by Prepvolleyball.com with three freshmen coming in along with two college transfers. The class includes two players ranked in the top 50 in the country as Kennedi Evans was ranked 23rd and Megan Yett was ranked 41st. Saige Ka'aha'aina-Torres was named the Star Adviser Hawaii Player of the Year and was also an Under Armour All-American.
The Utes hit the sand courts for their second beach volleyball season in 2018.
Senior Adora Anae and sophomore Dani Drews were both named to the Pac-12 Beach Volleyball All-Conference Team. It was Drews' second-consecutive second team honor while Anae made the all-league beach team for the first time. Anae and Drews played together as Utah's No. 1 pairing all season long, going 10-7 overall, which included a 1-2 effort in the Pac-12 Championships.
Utah finished 5-12 overall, more than doubling its win total from its first season.
With nearly 550 career victories to her name, Beth Launiere is in her 29th season at the helm of the Ute Volleyball program in 2018.
Launiere guided Utah to its third NCAA regional semifinals appearance in 2017 after earning a program-best No. 11 overall seed in the tournament. It was the Utes' 14th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history and the fourth in the last five years. Utah finished 24-10 overall and had its best Pac-12 Conference season in seven years as a league member, finishing fourth with a 13-7 record. It was the second straight year the Utes recorded double-figure wins in Pac-12 play. Launiere has logged 17 seasons of 20 or more wins at the helm of the Utah program.
Seven Utes have earned All-Pac-12 accolades under Launiere and four have made the All-Freshman team. Adora Anae was a three-time first-team All-Pac-12 selection and became Utah's first-ever first-team All-American in 2017. Launiere has guided 11 Utes to All-America honors while 14 have garnered all-region accolades.
Launiere's impact on the sport goes well beyond the court, as she served as the AVCA President during the 2009 calendar year. She has also been a member of the AVCA Board of Directors since 2004.
Launiere was named the AVCA West Region Coach of the Year three times (2001, '06, '08) and the MWC Coach of the Year on three occasions (2004, '06, '08). In 11 years as a Mountain West Conference member, Utah won three tournament championships (2001, '02, '05) and three regular-season titles (2004, '06, '08).
Malia Shoji is in her fourth season with Utah volleyball program. Shoji was elevated to associate head coach in February 2018 after serving three years as an assistant coach.
Shoji has helped lead the Utes to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including the regional semifinals in 2017. Following her first season at Utah, Shoji was named an assistant coach for the Pac-12 Volleyball All-Star Team that toured China in the summer of 2016.
She made the move to Salt Lake City after serving as an assistant women's coach at Western Oregon University from 2012-14.
Shoji was an assistant coach with Willamette University in 2011 and helped establish the Capital City Elite Volleyball Club, serving as the director of business operations. Shoji was the lead coach for the Gold Medal Squared Volleyball Camps (2012-14), and has also been a head coach at the junior varsity and club levels.
Shoji played collegiately at Irvine Valley College from 2005-07. Malia's father, Tom, has been an NCAA volleyball coach for more than 30 years. Her uncle, Dave, currently ranks second in NCAA in career wins after 40 years at Hawai'i.
Dan Corotan is in his first season with the Utes, joining the program after spending three seasons at Utah Valley.
Corotan he helped guide the Wolverines to a 45-44 overall record and 28-14 mark in Western Athletic Conference play in three years. UVU was the WAC runner-up in 2016 for the program's highest league finish. The Wolverines finished in the top eight in the nation in blocking in 2016 and '17.
Prior to being named UVU's assistant coach in 2015, Corotan served as the team's video and stats coordinator. Corotan also has coaching experience at the club level, coaching various boys' and girls' teams at the club level around Utah. Corotan graduated from BYU in 2014. He was a standout volleyball player at Los Alamitos High School (Calif.) and played club beach volleyball for several years.
Former Utah standout Brenda Whicker is in her first season as the beach volleyball head coach for the Utes.
Following a decorated indoor career at Utah from 1994-97, Whicker has played beach volleyball for over 20 years. One of the top players in the state and the region, Whicker played on the beach circuit from 2009-10 and qualified for the 2013 AVP Tournament in Salt Lake City. She has conducted beach volleyball camps and clinics for the last five years.
Whicker is one of just five Ute indoor players who have registered 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs during their careers. She ranks third all-time with 1,565 career kills and fourth overall with 1,313 career digs. She is the program's all-time leader with 161 career service aces.
Tyler Legerski is in his first season as the director of operations for the Utah volleyball program. He also serves as an assistant coach for the Utah beach volleyball team.
Legerski is in his third year with Utah volleyball overall. In his first season, he served as a volunteer assistant with the indoor team and then spent a year as its director of digital content. He was a volunteer assistant coach for the beach program in 2017.
Legerski, who hails from Rock Springs, Wyo., earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Wyoming in 2015. He currently resides in Salt Lake City.