UVU drops first game of four-game road trip to UMKC

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Utah Valley University’s volleyball team struggled defensively on Thursday night, Nov. 7, as they fell to the University of Missouri-Kansas City 3-1, making it their second loss in a row.

The loss was their fourth in the last five matches, and now the volleyball team from Orem is 3-6 when playing on the road this season. 

Perhaps the problem is UVU not finishing as well as they start each set. The same was the case in the first as UVU struggled to keep up with the home team. After keeping things close, UMKC held on to a 19-17 lead and the ‘Roos went on a 6-0 to close things up 25-17. The last point that decided the set came on a service ace, which was one of UMKC’s eight on the night.

The second set was similar to the first, but with UVU coming out on top. The set was close late with the Wolverines leading 21-18, until the visiting squad secured the set by ending it on a 4-0 run to win 25-18. Redshirt junior outside hitter Bailey Christensen scored two of the last four points with a kill and a service ace. 

The third set was tight, until the middle of the set when UMKC, tied at 14 with UVU, went on a 6-1 run to take a 20-15 lead. UVU would answer with a 7-2 run of their own to close the gap, but UMKC ended the set on a 3-0 run to take a 2-1 match lead.

In the fourth set, UVU clung to an 11-8 lead, until UMKC went on a 6-3 to knot things up at 14. The set would eventually be tied up at 18, when the ‘Roos rallied to go on a 7-1 run to seal the 3-1 match victory. UMKC swept the season series with UVU.

Sophomore outside hitter Kazna Tarawhiti notched another double-digit kill game with 14 kills and a hitting percentage of .257 on the evening. Senior middle blocker Makaila Jarema tied a personal best with eight blocks and, although losing the match, the Wolverines out-hit the ‘Roos .233 to .133. The Wolverines also out-blocked the ‘Roos 10-7 and posted 45 kills. 

UVU will now turn their attention to Chicago State on Saturday, Nov. 9, with the first set to begin at 10 a.m. MST.