Utah Valley University volleyball was able to stay on track in conference play on Thursday, Oct. 4, defeating California State University, Bakersfield 3-0 to improve to 2-1 in WAC play.
The win for the Wolverines was their second in a row, allowing them to stay in competition at the top of the WAC standings. The sweep of the Roadrunners was the first for the Wolverines in conference play this season.
UVU went into Thursday night’s game against CSUB as one of the top blocking teams in the conference, which was one of the reasons UVU was able to win in such dominant fashion.
UVU opened up the first set on a 4-0 run over CSUB to take control early. Kills from redshirt junior Bailey Christensen and redshirt senior Megan Childs increased the Wolverine lead to 15-6 behind a strong offensive push. Sophomore Kazna Tarawhiti racked up five kills in the first set, three of them coming at the end to finish the job 25-17.
UVU started hot in set two and was able to maintain a comfortable lead throughout this set. The Wolverines put together a pair of runs to stretch the gap between them and the Roadrunners 17-12. A final kill from Tarawhiti helped seal the second victory of the night for UVU by a score of 25-22. Tarawhiti tallied four kills in the second set with Christensen also earning three.
Set three fared much tighter for the Wolverines as the ‘Runners gave the visiting team a run for their money, causing six lead changes. Both teams were tied at 14 apiece when UVU managed to pull away behind a 4-0 run. Tarawhiti gathered two aces and a kill during the run and CSUB couldn’t recoup. UVU went on to win the set 25-22, closing the door on any chance at a comeback for CSUB.
As a team, UVU hit .327 throughout the match, the second-highest of any opponent CSUB has faced all season. Tarawhiti led the way for the Wolverines offensively with 14 kills and a .367 hitting average. Christensen was impressive herself, tallying eight kills with a .438 hitting average. Senior Makaila Jarema, Jasmine Niutupuivaha and Childs all collected a pair of blocks on the night defensively.
UVU will now attempt to improve to 3-1 in conference play. As they will travel down to Phoenix, Arizona to take on Grand Canyon University on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. MST.