Wolverines take down Seattle U in 5 sets

Kazna Tanuvasa is now #3 all time in kills at UVU (Photo courtesy of UVU athletics)

The Utah Valley women’s volleyball team defeated Seattle U 3-2 (25-13, 20-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-8) on the road at the Redhawk Center. The Wolverines secured their second straight conference road win, improving their record to 7-8 on the season and 2-2 in Western Athletic Conference play. In the victory, senior Kazna Tanuvasa climbed to third all-time for kills in UVU history, surpassing Jessica Endres. 

Tanuvasa had 20 kills accompanied by three blocks and eight digs in the match as she led the way for UVU. Natalie Palmer was the X-factor throughout the match contributing a double-double with 16 assists, 10 digs, and a career-high four kills. Sophomore Abbie Miller once again played a key role in the assist category as she tallied 29 on the match.Bryton Bishop led the Wolverines with 17 digs to go along with six assists of her own. Kristen Bell chipped in with 15 kills and six digs while Sadie Hamson led the team with five blocks. 

The Wolverines started the match on fire as they got out to an early 10-4 advantage. Seattle U cut the lead to three and shifted the tide for a moment but UVU responded and extended the lead to 15-10. Thanks to terrific play from Tanuvasa and Miller, the Wolverines finished the first set on a dominant 10-2 run and would ultimately win the set 25-13.

The Wolverines found themselves trailing at the beginning of the second set. The Redhawks had a momentum-swinging start of the set as they led 9-5. The two teams exchanged four points each which put the Redhawk lead up to 13-9. The Wolverines then went on an incredible run to take the lead 15-14 as Bell scored four unanswered points of her own. The back and forth play continued steadily up to a 21-20 Redhawk advantage. UVU went cold down the stretch and dropped four straight points, losing the set, and tying the match 1-1. 

The Redhawks began the third set right where they left off as they scored the first point of the set and captured a quick 11-6 lead. Tanuvasa and the Wolverines chipped away at the lead, battling back to cut the deficit to  two. UVU was within striking distance before the Redhawks  utilized an 8-3 run to take a controlling 24-17 lead. The Wolverines went on an impressive run of their own but it fell short as the Redhawks took the set 25-21, and grabbed control of the match 2-1. 

The fourth set was a back-and-forth battle from the beginning. Both teams swapped points and battled up to a 6-6 tie. Seattle U seemed to take the momentum for a moment as they went ahead 8-6 but Palmer and the Wolverines surged and went on an astounding 8-1 run. The Wolverines continued to battle but the Redhawks would threaten the UVU lead by storming on a 9-5 run of their own, slashing the score to just 20-19. After a UVU timeout, the Wolverines regrouped and Tanuvasa led the way down the stretch as UVU closed the set on a 5-3 run. The Wolverines secured the fourth set victory which sent the match to a deciding fifth set. 

The deciding set was in the Wolverines’ control from the start as Tanuvasa once again took over in crunchtime. UVU jumped out to a 8-3 advantage then extended their lead to 12-4. Thanks to steady play from the UVU frontcourt, this was enough for the Wolverines to cruise to a 15-8 win of the set and ultimately the match. 

This Wolverine win extends the UVU winning streak to two games as they continue WAC play and travel to Riverside, California to take on the California Baptist Lancers on Oct. 8 This Saturday afternoon matchup will stream on ESPN+ at 1 p.m. MT.

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