The Wolverines lost their first match Saturday night against the northern Arizona Lumberjacks. The loss came in heart breaking fashion as the Wolverines gave up a late lead then allow the final point as their two best players ran into each other going for the ball. The error allowed the Lumberjacks to win the fourth set 27-25. In the match, the Wolverines won the first set 26-24, then proceeded to lose the following three by scores of 24-26, 22-25, and 25-27. All four matches were tightly contested with each team owning the lead numerous times, only to give it back.
In the first set the Wolverines got behind early 5-10, then slowly fought their way back into the game, eventually tying things up at seventeen. The Lumberjacks then took the lead back, putting themselves up 23-19 before the Wolverines mounted a comeback, pushing the game into extra points and giving UVU the win. They were led by senior middle blocker Sarah Clement with 7.5 points in the match including 7 kills on 15 attempts.
The second game charge was lead by Chelsey Heaps. Again the Wolverines got out to an even start, then struggled to score against the front line of the Lumberjacks. They found themselves down 18-22 before staging a late rally to tie things up at 23, before eventually losing 24-26. Heaps and consistent scoring partner Lindsay Barker combined for 8 of the teams 14 kills, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.
Set three was another example of a recurring theme of the Wolverines matches, the longer a point goes, the more likely the Wolverines will win the point. Whenever a point exchanged sides more than four times, the Wolverines found a way to win the point. Unfortunately for UVU, in the third set they kept taking one point leads on long vollies then giving them right back on quick scores to NAU. It was another close game including ties at 17, 19, 20, and 21 before the Lumberjacks took things over and won 25-22.
The fourth set started out all UVU. They jumped out to a 5-1 lead and carried the momentum for a moment. The Lumberjacks fought their way back to tie things up at nineteen. The match then went back and forth until the Wolverines were down 25-26, and their two best players ran into each other going for the ball, commiting a tandem hitting error, putting the final spike in the match and tournament for UVU.
Chelsey Heaps and Sarah Clement were named to the All-tournament Team. This loss drops the Wolverines to 2-1 on the season heading into an exciting week with games against the Slovenian National Team in an exhibition, and warm-up for nationally ranked Michigan on Friday night.
By staff sportswriter Josh Keil