The Utah Valley University volleyball team’s five-game win streak come to an end in a 3-2 loss to the Utah State University Aggies in Logan on Tuesday. The tightly contested match went five sets and came down to a costly attack error by the Wolverines late in the final set.
Tori Dorius came up big for the Wolverines offensively with 22 kills on the night. Kalea Kennedy also had a big night with 13 kills. Abbie Miller and Natalie Palmer were setting up their teammates well, as Miller tallied 29 assists and Palmer logged 18. Defensively, Bryton Nixon anchored the Wolverines with 13 digs, while Kazna Tanuvasa tallied 11 digs. Jules Fink and Makayla Broadbent each put up 6 blocks in the contest.
The Wolverines would waste no time In the first set, as the Wolverines jumped out to an early 7-1 lead. After both teams went back-and-forth trading points, USU went on a 5-0 run to bring the match within a point. Again trading points, there would be five ties throughout the rest of the set until a service error by Tanuvasa set up a set point for USU, who would capitalize and come from behind to win the first set 26-24.
The second set was hotly contested and the score was tied at 6-6 early on in the match. The Wolverines finally gained some separation after a quick 4-0 run to put them up 16-12. Despite the Aggies’ effort at a comeback, UVU won the second set, scoring seven unanswered points with a finishing score of 25-15.
The Wolverines carried their momentum from the second set into the third, and after a back-and-forth battle early, UVU took command of the lead 21-14 by means of a 6-0 run. Red hot, the Wolverines scored another three unanswered points and ultimately took the set 25-16.
With a chance to clinch the match in the fourth set, the Wolverines cooled off offensively, falling behind 15-11. Despite closing the gap and tying the set at 16, Utah Valley conceded a 5-0 run that was ultimately too much to come back from, as they lost the set 25-18.
The fifth and final set meant winner-take-all, and the Wolverines almost came from behind to steal the victory. After falling behind 13-9, a kill by Fink sparked a 6-1 run by the Wolverines to claim the lead, going up 15-14 with a chance to take the set and match. The Aggies countered and retook the lead 17-16. With a USU set point on the line, an attack error by Kennedy put the nail in the coffin for the Wolverines as they fell 18-16.
Utah Valley now sits at 5-4 on the season after seeing its five-game win streak snapped. The Wolverines are still 3-0 at home and are tied for eighth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings with University of Texas Arlington. They move on to face Weber State at Lockhart Arena in Orem, UT on Thursday, Sep. 15. The match tips off at 6 p.m. MT and can be streamed on ESPN+.
Sports Editor and Senior Staff Writer
Senior at Utah Valley University majoring in applied communications.