Photo by Byron Harward
The Wolverine volleyball team returned to the court Saturday to take on the Duke Blue Devils of the ACC in its second match of the TCU Fight in the Fort Tournament. Despite winning two of the first three sets to take a 2-1 advantage, the Wolverines were unable to stave off the Blue Devil comeback as Duke (7-2) rallied to defeat UVU (5-6) in five sets (25-21, 19-25, 25-15, 23-25, 4-15).
An Izzie Hinton kill started the scoring in the first set, giving the Wolverines a 1-0 lead that was quickly matched by the Blue Devils. The teams traded points in the early going before Sierra Starley broke the tie, recording a kill that made the score 6-5 and gave UVU a lead that it would not relinquish for the remainder of the set.
The Blue Devils responded with the first score of the second set. On the ensuing play Madison Dennison scored a kill, making the score 1-1 and recording the first of what would be 12 such ties during the set. With the score deadlocked at 5-all Lexi Thompson scored, sparking a 3-0 run by the Wolverines to give them an 8-5 lead. Just as the Wolverines seemed to be gaining momentum, the Blue Devils struck back. Fueled by a 10-4 run Duke would go on to win the second set.
The Wolverines started slow in the third set, falling into a quick 3-1 hole before picking up the pace. Looking to avenge its second set loss, UVU got hot in a hurry. Another Lexi Thompson kill tied the score at 7-7 and propelled the Wolverines into an 8-3 run. UVU would not look back, winning the third set in dominant fashion.
Both sides came out firing in the tightly contested fourth set. With the score tied and 10-10 a string of Blue Devil errors gave the Wolverines the largest lead of the match at four. Duke promptly responded with a 5-1 run to tie the score again at 15-15 and it was neck and neck the rest of the way, with the latest tie being a 23-23 deadlock. With the score knotted up late it was Duke that proved to be more clutch in this one as the Blue Devils scored two straight to top the Wolverines in the fourth.
It was all Duke in the fifth, as the Wolverines came out flat in the deciding set of the match. UVU appeared to be depleted as it was unable to match the energy of the Blue Devils, falling behind 6-0 before a Duke error got the Wolverines on the board. UVU would go on to lose the set and the match in the anticlimactic final set.
After losing a heartbreaker to Duke in its first match of the day, the team took the court against the Horned Frogs of TCU in its final match of the TCU Fight in the Fort Tournament. The host school came out on top in this one, as TCU (6-3) prevailed over UVU (5-7) in a three-set sweep (22-25, 16-25, 21-25).
Both sides came out hot in the opening set, as the teams traded points until a UVU attack error gave TCU the lead, breaking a 10-10 tie. The Horned Frog lead grew to as many as four at 17-13 before Lexi Thompson recorded a kill to narrow the gap. It was neck and neck the rest of the way, but ultimately UVU was unable to keep up as TCU pulled away late to record a narrow first set win.
The Horned Frogs were able to keep the momentum heading into the second set as they built a 6-2 lead. The lead slowly grew as the Wolverines seemed unable to stymie the TCU barrage and ultimately lost the second set unceremoniously.
Looking to avoid the sweep the Wolverines bounced back to begin the third set, keeping pace with the Horned Frogs before taking the lead 5-4 on a Madison Dennison kill. After a kill by Izzie Hinton gave UVU a three point lead at 14-11, its largest of the match, the Wolverines looked confident heading down the stretch. TCU was able to respond however, as the Horned frogs tied the score at 16-16 and would not look back and they finished on a 9-5 run to take the third set and the match.
Up next for UVU is a match with in-state foe Weber State on Sept. 13, in Ogden, Ut., followed by a pair of home matches against No. 18 Utah and No. 10 BYU in the Lockhart arena on Sept. 15 and 16.