Brigham Flint, Assistant Sports Editor
On September 11, UVU’s volleyball team came up short of extending their win streak after falling to the Weber State Wildcats in five sets.
“You got to give Weber the credit,” said UVU head coach Sam Atoa. “I feel like we didn’t do a very good job of protecting our court and I think we were a little overconfident. We’ve had some great success and this is one loss that will help us be able to focus on what we need to do for our next match.”
After coming off six straight victories, UVU entered the match with an overall record of 8-3.
During the first set, Weber State jumped to an early 8-4 lead, but UVU was able to fight its way back into it. While the game remained close, the Wolverines pulled ahead and eventually won 25-22. Freshman Kazna Tarawhiti ended the set with six kills and junior Madi Wardle added seven assists.
The next sets did not end as favorably. During the second set, Weber State was again able to get ahead early, though a series of early scores from sophomore Kristen Allred kept the Wolverines in the game. However, it wasn’t enough to stop Weber State from coming out on top, with the final score ending at 25-20. The third set, the Wildcats controlled from the beginning, topping UVU 25-17.
Facing elimination, the Wolverines came back and won the fourth and most heated set of the night. For the entire duration, neither team could seem to pull ahead, resulting in a tied score at 22 different times, more than the previous three sets combined. Trailing 23-21 as the game neared its close, sophomore Seren Merrill sent a long hit over the net from the back of the court that helped get the Wolverines back into it and brought the crowd to their feet. From there on, the stands erupted with every point, and big plays from Allred and Tarawhiti kept the Wolverines going until they came away with a 31-29 victory.
“We definitely had a very high level of intensity,” said Allred. “In that set, we wanted it more than they did. It was good to just get out there and just work together as a team.”
“We allowed ourselves to get back into it because we fought even when we ran out of subs,” said Coach Atoa.
Unfortunately for UVU, their incredible comeback was short lived. In the final set, they were worn down and fell 15-5.
“They played a great game and we just didn’t have all the answers,” said Allred, who finished the night with a team-high 21 kills. “It was a good learning experience for us.”
UVU’s next home game will be held at 6 p.m. on Sept. 20 against Chicago State.