UVU comes up short to UCLA in three sets

UVU attempting to block a returned hit at the net

Utah Valley University played their first game of the Hawaii Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Volleyball Challenge on Thursday. The Wolverines were swept in three sets by the UCLA Bruins by scores of 25-15, 25-20 and 19-25. 

This was the first-ever meeting between these two schools, which ended with UVU struggling to get anything going offensively throughout the match.

Senior Jasmine Niutupuivaha got UVU started in the first set with back-to-back kills, but UVU still suffered a 10-17 setback. UCLA senior Savvy Simo also got going offensively, tallying five kills on the front row. In short, this ultimately proved to be too much for UVU’s back line to handle.

Set two was much closer than the first for the Wolverines, as both teams struggled back-and-forth to maintain a lead. There were four lead changes throughout the second set between the two teams, as sophomore Kazna Tarawhiti kept UVU in the contest with five kills. UCLA’s offense continued to thrive, however, as they took set two. 

The Bruins took a commanding lead over the Wolverines from the start of the third set. Tarawhiti tallied four more kills for the night, while freshman Tori Dorius and Niutupuivaha each added their own pair of kills at the net. 

Tarawhiti led the Wolverines on the night with 10 kills, and Niutupuivaha added five kills and four blocks. Redshirt-junior Jaysa Funk-Stratton led the team with 14 assists. 

Hitting at an efficient level was again the achilles heel for UVU, as the Bruins out-hit the Wolverines in the match .275 to .240.

UVU will take the court again on Friday, Sept. 13, and try to bounce back against #18 ranked Hawaii at 11 p.m. MST.

Photo by Angela Davis

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