The Utah Valley women’s volleyball team won their fourth straight-match, grinding out a 3-1 victory over the Idaho State Bengals on Sept. 16 at the Lockhart Arena.
UVU won the first two sets 25-19 and 25-23. ISU rallied to take the third set 27-25, but the Wolverines were able to bounce back and take the fourth set 25-15.
“We keep talking about our control and our urgency,” said UVU head volleyball coach Sam Atoa. “I really liked what we did, especially being able to come back in that fourth set after dropping a set. We had other kids playing that don’t always have the chance to get on the court and they were able to stick to the system and the plan that we had and it allowed us to be successful.”
The defense set the tone for the Wolverines as middle blockers Jules Fink and Kendra Nock contributed 6 and 7 blocks respectively. Fink also led the attack with 13 kills.
Not much separated the two teams in the early going, with 26 ties and 10 lead changes between the first two sets. UVU took advantage of a 7-1 run to close out the first set and a 5-1 run to close out the second.
The Wolverines looked to be cruising to a third set victory and a sweep, but the Bengals rallied to win the set and extend the match. UVU led by as many as five in the third set and had two match points, but ISU scored five of the final six points to take the set.
The Bengals seemed to have all the momentum at the beginning of the fourth set, but it was short lived. After being tied at six, the Wolverines went on a 16-5 run to all but put away the match. ISU cut into the deficit and looked to be regaining some momentum, but a diving dig by libero Bryton Bishop set up match point for the Wolverines, which they immediately converted with an ace by Natalie Palmer.
The Wolverines look to continue their hot streak on Saturday when they take on No. 15 BYU in the Crosstown Clash at the Lockhart Arena. The Cougars are coming off a sweep of No. 10 Utah, whom the Wolverines lost to twice to begin the season. The match is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. MDT and can be streamed on ESPN+.