Photo by Jesse Sanchez
OREM, Utah – With both teams competing for the second-place spot to close out the regular season, the Utah Valley University volleyball team won its last home game of the season in a dramatic five sets (25-18, 25-17, 21-25, 20-25, 15-12) over CSU Bakersfield.
The Wolverines returned to the newly remodeled PE Gym, fresh from their impressive sweep of Grand Canyon University, in which they celebrated Senior Night in style.
UVU started the match strong by winning the first and second sets 25- 18 and 25-17. The Wolverines took the lead in the third set, looking promising to repeat Thursday night’s sweep, until CSUB bounced back with efficient force and took the third set 25-21.
Senior Kiahna Vernon closed out her last night with 10 kills and only 4 errors. Also notable for today’s game was Junior Lexi Thompson, who provided 20 kills and a mere 3 errors.
“I feel good. I’m going to miss it. These girls are a big part of my life and I’m excited to see where we go next week, ” said Vernon.
Today’s win was crucial for UVU, as second place will give it a bye in next week’s Western Athletic Conference tournament.
“We knew that it was going to be a brawl. Bakersfield is a very good team. They fight hard, and so do we,” said head coach Sam Atoa. “I like to think that if we have the bye, it allows us to see how things are going and who we’re going to play. Let others duke it out instead of taking all of our energy and playing on Thursday, then having to come back and play again on Friday.”
UVU continues play with the WAC tournament, which will run Nov. 17-19, in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
I kick ass and take names.