The Utah Valley Wolverines defeated the Cal Poly Mustangs on Monday night in four sets 25-18, 24-26, 25-21, 25-23 in their first home game of the season.
The Wolverines set the tone for the match, leading in kills (57-42), sets (53-37), digs (58-41), blocks (12-11), and tied the match with six aces.
The first set was run through the Wolverines as they were able to establish a 14-8 lead early on. This was enough to claim the momentum and was topped off by an ace on set point by true freshman Avery Shewell, giving the Wolverines a 1-0 lead entering the second set.
The second set was very competitive as neither side could gather a lead larger than three points for the majority of the period. The Mustangs found themselves in a favorable position late in the set with a 24-22 lead but the Wolverines were able to come up with back-to-back kills by Kate Slack and Avery Shewell to tie up the set at 24 apiece. After a Cal Poly time out the Mustangs were able to capitalize on a Wolverine attack error with a kill of their own to take the second set tying up the match 1-1.
Towards the middle of the third set the Wolverines found themselves down 12-10 but, by means of a kill by senior Kalea Kennedy and great service by sophomore Natalie Palmer,Wolverines were able to gain some momentum, take the lead, and never look back. The Wolverines went on to win the set 25-21 taking a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth set Cal Poly took an early lead after a 7-7 tie and cushioned themselves by three points throughout the set. After a time-out late in the set down 19-21, called by UVU head coach Sam Atoa, the Wolverines were able to bounce back and tie the game 23-23. Cal Poly proceeded to call a time-out but could not execute, giving up a setting error. Freshman Avery Shewell was able to seal the match for the Wolverines with a kill.
The Wolverine’s Tori Dorius led the match offensively with 18 kills and 20.5 total points. Along with stellar defensive performances from Jules Fink who led the match with 7 blocks and Bryton Nixon leading the match in digs with 14.
The Wolverines next host California in the first bout of the Utah Valley Invitational. The match takes place on Thursday, Sep. 1 and tips off at 5 p.m. MT and can be streamed on ESPN+.
For a full team schedule and information, visit gouvu.com.