Saturday, Oct. 5, Utah Valley faced off against Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, winning three of the four sets.
GCU was previously 3-0 for WAC matches beating Chicago State, Kansas City and Seattle. UVU put a stop to this streak and added a loss to their record. The third win in WAC play so far for the Wolverines. GCU and UVU have met before, each time ending with a win for the Wolverines — which now sits at a record of 13-0 over GCU.
Set one started rocky for the Wolverines, and it wasn’t until the second part of the match that the Wolverines pulled ahead with back to back runs resulting in a score of 16-15, UVU. GCU came back with a vengeful three kills in a row, however, and ended the first set 25-19.
When teams are evenly matched like these, it is fun to see the back and forth. This was the case for the second set as both sides matched run after run. The first half of this second set was spent with lead changes over and after run, until an eventual tie at halfway at 15-15. Attacks from senior middle blocker Megan Childs, sophomore right setter Kalli Downs, junior outside hitter Bailey Christensen, and sophomore outside hitter Kazna Tarawhiti brought UVU to victory at 30-28.
Set three and four consisted of a severe strength showing from UVU at the net. Kill after kill was brought forward, resulting in 18 team kills in the third set and 17 in set four. GCU could not get the ball for long enough to do any good, as the Wolverines hit them hard over and over. Tarawhiti herself posted 19 kills against GCU and made this match her 12th double-digit game this season. Christensen got 11 kills in this match and senior middle blocker Makaila Jarema had nine kills and four blocks.
Set three and four ended with scores of 26-24 and 28-26, respectively. This match ended with a score of 3-1 in favor of UVU.
The Wolverines will return home to play UMKC, Cal Baptist, Chicago State, and Seattle U, starting with Kansas City on Oct. 10 in the Lockheart Arena at 11 a.m. MST.