UVU handles Seattle U at home, secures second-consecutive sweep

Kazna Tarawhiti, sophomore, Outside Hitter, spiking the ball for one of her five kills in the match. (Photo by Cameron Hunsinger)

Utah Valley University volleyball played host to Seattle University on Saturday afternoon, earning the 3-0 sweep to stay in the hunt for a top four seed in the WAC standings. 

UVU now improves to 5-3 in WAC play with this win, the second win of the week in which the Wolverines were playing in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. The victory put the Wolverines in fourth place in the current WAC standings. 

“Everyone performed well offensively with their efforts on the net,” said sophomore outside hitter Kazna Tarawhiti.  “I think with our hitting we did really, really well.”

Set one

The first set was evenly matched throughout as each team went back-and-forth, especially in the early going. The set was 4-4 until UVU found some grounding offensively and propelled to a 6-1 run to take the lead 10-4. SU was able to answer, however, as they responded with a 5-0 run of their own to knot things up at 10 a piece. UVU separated themselves from SU as the set went on, making their presence known offensively behind Tarawhiti’s five kills and redshirt senior Megan Child’s three kills. UVU finished strong and took the first set 25-21.

Set two

Much of the same occurred in the second set as competition was close in the beginning. SU went on a 5-0 scoring run to take a 10-8 lead, but UVU came back with a 7-3 run to regain the lead 15-13 and forced SU to take a timeout. The Wolverines fought to maintain the lead throughout the remainder of the set as they pulled out the 25-20 victory. The Wolverines hit at a ridiculous clip in the second set, scoring on .600 percent on their offensive attacks. Childs and senior Jasmine Niutupuivaha spearheaded the offensive charge in the second set as they each had four kills a piece.

Set three

It was the opposite of the “same song and dance” in the third set. Rather than allowing the Redhawks to hang around for the duration of the set, the Wolverines jumped out to a 14-6 run and preserved the lead the rest of the way, closing the door on the visiting team for good by a score of 25-17 to obtain the sweep.

All of the rest and what’s next?

The Wolverines were even offensively in kills with both Tarawhiti and Niutupuivaha acquiring eight and both Childs and senior Makaila Jarema obtaining five. UVU ended the day hitting .364. 

SU now falls to 1-7 in conference play and 10-12 overall on the season. UVU has now won three straight games against SU and the two schools will face-off again on Nov. 14 when the Wolverines head up to Washington.

The Wolverines have little to no time to celebrate, however, as their attention now turns to Las Cruces where they will take on New Mexico State next week.

“I definitely think [the win] is a confidence booster,” said Tarawhiti. “Throughout the first half of the season we’ve learned a lot about ourselves. I think as time goes on we’re getting better and better. Going into this next week it will be a tough one, but we’re excited and we’re prepared.”

UVU is 0-1 against NMSU so far this season and will focus on getting revenge next week. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. MST on Thursday, Oct. 24.

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