Tanuvasa breaks the UVU kills record in loss against No. 23 Kansas

Kazna Tanuvasa breaks the UVU volleyball kills record with 1,601 kills on Friday, Aug. 26, at the Utah Classic Tournament in a 3-0 loss against the No. 23 Kansas Jayhawks.

Kazna Tanuvasa is now the Wolverines all-time kills leader (Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics).

Utah Valley women’s volleyball star Kazna Tanuvasa broke the school record in kills with 1,601 in set three of the Wolverines’ match against the No. 23 Kansas Jayhawks at the Utah Classic tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Aug. 26. 

Smiles and a nice team huddle celebration took place as the Wolverines congratulated their teammate.

Despite the astonishing feat by Tanuvasa, the Wolverines were swept 3-0 in the match against the nationally ranked Jayhawks. The Wolverines now begin the season 0-1. 

Tanuvasa led the way for UVU with eight kills while Tori Dorius and Kalea Kennedy had five apiece. Tanuvasa also had the sole ace for the Wolverines while Natalie Palmer and Abbie Miller combined for 23 assists. 

Makayla Pollard played outstanding defense, clocking in three blocks. Bryton Nixon led the team in digs with seven while Natalie Palmer followed with three and Hailey Cuff with two. 

The Jayhawks got off to a quick 5-2 start to begin set one, but the Wolverines quickly got back within one thanks to a few Jawhawk errors. However, the Jayhawks promptly followed with an 8-0 run highlighted by five service aces by Molly Schultz. 

Tanuvasa broke the run with her first kill of the match to make the deficit 13-5, but the Jayhawks went on another 3-0 run, capitalizing on some errors by the Wolverines. Pollard broke the run again with another UVU kill to make the score 17-6. However, the Jayhawks would finish off the Wolverines with an 8-4 run before the Wolverines could generate any momentum. 

The final score of the set was 25-10 as Kansas went on six runs of 2-0 or better. 

The Jayhawks continued their momentum into the second set, beginning with a 9-3 run. However, the Wolverines weren’t out of it yet. Starting with a block by Pollard and Cuff, Kennedy scored a second straight point for UVU with a kill and Tanuvasa got her second kill to put the Wolverines back within four (10-6). 

The Wolverines continued to stay within four until the Jayhawks erupted for a 7-0 run to make the score 20-9. The Wolverines never recovered as the Jayhawks finished off the set with a 5-5 run. 

The final score of the set was 25-14. 

The Wolverines didn’t let the Jayhawks get off to a fast start the third time around as the Wolverines stayed within two to three points for the beginning of the set. Once the Jayhawks took a 10-6 lead, Tanuvasa responded with her 1,601st kill. Abbie Miller followed by forcing an attack error on the Jayhawks’ end to make the score 10-8.

Following the double-score, the Jayhawks went on an 8-3 run, looking to close out the Wolverines again. However, two kills by Kennedy and forcing a Jayhawk error swiftly closed the deficit down 18-14. 

The Wolverines kept alternating back-and-forth with the Jayhawks, even getting within three points after another double-score rally by UVU. However, the Jayhawks would regroup and close the set out on a 4-1 run.

The final score of the set was 25-19.

The Wolverines next take on the Loyola Marymount Lions at 5 p.m. MT in game two of the season-opening doubleheader at the Utah Classic tournament at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The match can be viewed on the Utah Livestream. 

The Wolverines conclude the tournament on Saturday, Aug. 27, in an NCAA Tournament rematch against the No. 22 Utah Utes at 4 p.m. MT on the Pac-12 Network. 

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