Wolverines bow out of WAC tournament, swept by NMSU

Utah Valley University ended the season at home on Friday, Nov. 22, losing to the Aggies of New Mexico State University 3-0 in the semifinals of the WAC tournament. 

The Aggies victory over the Wolverines was their 18th-consecutive win, which is a big reason why they were the one seed coming into tournament play and why they will more than likely repeat as WAC champions.

The Wolverines struggled to gain any traction defensively in the first set as the Aggies hit at a ridiculous clip of .607 and only made two attack errors on their way to a 25-12 victory. UVU struggled to defend against the Aggies’ attack, which has been a strong point for NMSU all season long. 

UVU showed some resiliency in the second set, however. After the one-seeded Aggies raced out to a 6-1 lead, the Wolverines stormed back throughout to tie the set at 20. UVU kept things close until it was all tied at 24, but two-straight points by NMSU put UVU in an 0-2 deficit.

Anytime in volleyball, especially against a team that has won 17-consecutive games, it’s hard to dig yourself out of an 0-2 deficit. The Wolverines found this to be the case on this occasion. After giving up a 7-2 early lead, UVU fought back to regain the lead at 14-13. NMSU took the momentum back with a 7-3 run to make it 20-16. After the Wolverines cut the deficit to within two, a kill and a block finished the set 25-21, securing the match and the sweep for NMSU.

There was a good amount of wolverines who ended the season at home on a high note. Sophomore outside hitter Kazna Tarawhiti had eight kills on the night, senior middle blocker Makaila Jarema tallied seven blocks while senior middle blocker Megan Childs earned five blocks. Setters Jaysa Funk Stratton and Madi Wardle had 12 and 11 assists respectively. 

UVU ended the season with an 8-10 record in conference play and a 12-20 record overall.

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