UVU loses to WSU in the final match of the Cougar Challenge

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Wolverines win two out of three matches in Pullman

Annie Hansen | Sports writer | @anniejhansen

Pullman, Wash. — The Washington State Cougars defeated Utah Valley University in four sets(26-24, 16-25, 13-25, 11-25) in the final game of the Cougar Challenge in Pullman Saturday evening.

Despite 14 kills from senior Lauren Bakker and eight more from Abby Jensen, the Wolverines could only manage a total of 37 kills in the match compared to the Cougars’ 54. The Cougars outhit the Wolverines with a percentage at .283 compared to .110 for UVU.

A close first set had the two teams’ battle back and forth between points. The Wolverines were down the whole set until the last four points of the match when Madison Dennison had two kills and Kianha Steiner added two more kills to help the Wolverines win the first set.

In the second set, the Wolverines trailed the game by no more than four points until the Cougars took the lead at 17-16 and won the next nine points to take the set. The Cougars would go onto to finish the match as they won the final two sets by 12 and 14 points respectively.

Washington State’s Kyra Holt had a match-high 20 kills with an added .409 hit percentage.

The Wolverines fall to 4-6 on the season and went 2-1 in the Cougar Challenge with the loss to the host Cougars. Bakker and sophomore setter Sierra Starley were both named to the Cougar Challenge All-Tournament Team. Bakker averaged 3.1 kills and 1.4 blocks to go along with a .519 attack percentage in three matches and Starley averaged 8.9 assists and 1.5 digs to help the Wolverines win two out of three matches on the weekend.

It is rivalry week for the Wolverines as on Tuesday Sept. 15 they play rival Utah State University in Logan at 7 p.m. MT. Then they will return home for their home opener on Saturday September 19 against 9th-ranked BYU at 7 p.m. MT.