The Utah Valley University volleyball team swept the Tarleton State University Texans 3-0 in Stephenville, Texas on Thursday. Kazna Tanuvasa, Tori Dorius, and Avery Shewell each had nine kills to lead the Wolverines to victory.
Caleigh Vagana anchored the Wolverines defensively with eight blocks on the night. Bryton Nixon led the Wolverines with 13 digs as well. Natalie Palmer and Abbie Miller found their teammates well, as Palmer tallied 20 assists and Miller recorded 18.
It was a game of runs in the first set as both teams traded scoring bursts. UVU took a 6-2 lead early with a 5-0 run, however, TSU responded with their own 4-0 run. After trading points, the teams were tied at eight. A service ace from Palmer then sparked another 5-0 run for UVU. After an attack error by the Wolverines, they went on yet another 5-0 run to take a commanding 18-9 lead. The Texans would cut into the lead after an attack error by the Wolverines allowed them a 3-0 run, but the Wolverines would go on a 3-0 run of their own to take the set 25-17.
The second set was much closer as both teams battled back and forth. After starting the match with a quick 4-0 run, the Wolverines found themselves leading 13-7 midway through the set. An attack error and a service ace highlighted TSU’s rally in response as they closed the gap to just three points. UVU went on a 3-0 run to take a 20-14 lead, however, TSU responded with two separate 3-0 runs to bring the score to 24-22. Tanuvasa was able to put the Texan’s comeback efforts to rest with a kill-off of a set from Miller to take a 2-0 set lead.
After both teams rallied off runs on each side, the Wolverines found themselves in a favorable position with a 15-10 lead in the third set. However, the Wolverines allowed the Texans to get back into it and the lead was cut to just two. An attack error by the Texans and a kill by Dorius clinched the set and the match as the Wolverines took the third set 25-19.
The Wolverines are now tied for first in conference with an 8-1 record in Western Athletic Conference play. They complete their Texas road trip with a matchup against Abilene Christian on Saturday. The match tips off at 11 a.m. MT and can be streamed on ESPN+.
Sports Editor and Senior Staff Writer
Senior at Utah Valley University majoring in applied communications.