The Utah Valley Volleyball team beat Abilene Christian in a five-set comeback win 3-2 (25-21, 30-28, 25-16, 25-22, 16-14) snapping their four-game losing streak and bringing their record to 4-9 on the year.
This was exactly the game that the Utah Valley Volleyball needed, but it did not start out like they had hoped.
The first set was an extension of the last matchup for UVU, with the same issues plaguing them. UVU fell quickly to a nine-point deficit with the Wildcats being led by the hard-hitting Ashli Edmiston who ended the day with 19 kills.
The Wolverines were not done, however.
UVU went on a few runs of their own. UVU’s 6-0 run pulled the game within three, but it was not enough to steal the set away from the Wildcats, who managed to avoid disaster by finishing the set off 25-21
Utah Valley started the second set off hot, looking like a much better team. The Wolverines were much more aggressive, consistently getting the Wildcats off system and holding a lead for most of the set.
However, danger struck near the end.
UVU’s lead was disrupted by a quick run by the Wildcats, who stole the lead from the Wolverines and seemed on the brink of stealing the set.
From up five points to down one, the Wolverines seemed to have lost their edge with the score resting at 22-21.
Up next were some of the most intense points of the game. The lead went back and forth as the set stretched into extended play. The Wolverines fought hard to stay alive, but two straight kills by Breanna Box put UVU away for good, ending the set at an exhausting 30-28.
The Wolverines were now down 2-0 in the match and getting dangerously close to a fifth straight loss. It was now or never for UVU.
Fortunately, Utah Valley would not let that set define them.
Once again, the Wolverines had a great start to the set, jumping out to a quick 10-5 lead in the third set, and this time they held it.
Led by Avery Shewell and Tori Ellis, who had 19 and 15 kills respectively, the Wolverines were clicking and jumped to their biggest lead of the day at 17-10.
The Wolverines were dominating on both sides of the net, getting ferocious kills while the defense was holding things down on the other end. Key kills by Ellis and Caleigh Vagana would lead the Wolverines to dominate the Wildcats in the third set, winning it 25-16.
But they were not out of harm’s way yet. For the third time in this match the Wolverines would jump to a quick lead, going on a 7-0 run.
The Wolverines looked ferocious, quick, and stalwart defensively. The Wolverines were dominant, and they would not let the Wildcats get anything going. Their defense was exceptional, and their aggression was palpable. They were dominating the Wildcats, consistently holding a ten-point lead for the first half of set four.
Unfortunately, a 5-0 run by the Wildcats — led by three aces would put a gash in the lead — but the Wolverines showed the resilience that would come to define this game, and ended the set on a defiant note, with a final kill ending the set at 25-22
The Wolverines set the tone early, with a huge block to open the deciding set.
The Wolverines were playing great, getting good looks, and capitalizing with huge kills. Utah Valley held an 8-5 lead at the halfway mark, but ACU came out of the break with a vengeance
A few kills set the tone for the Wolverines giving them a 4-point lead, but the Wildcats were still pushing UVU. The Wildcats did a great job defensively, returning potentially game ending kills with kills of their own.
The Wildcats were able to pull the game even in the last set. A huge kill by Ellis stopped the run, but a service error tied the game again. But fortunately, the always dependable Avery Shewell delivered when it mattered most, having back-to-back kills to win the set, and, the match.
This was a massive win for the Wolverines who showed intense resilience and talent down the stretch, breaking Abilene Christian’s five game home winning streak, and breaking their own four game losing streak.
The Wolverines will look to carry this momentum to their next game against Stephen F. Austin here at Lockhart Arena this Thursday Sept. 28. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+