The Utah Valley University volleyball team defeated the Chicago State University Cougars 3-1 (25-22,22-25,25-17,25-17) on October 6 at Lockhart Arena in Orem, UT.
Kazna Tanuvasa and Tori Dorius led the Wolverines offensively, as Tanuvasa tallied 13 kills and Dorius put up 12. Brighton Nixon could not be stopped on the serve as she scored five service aces while Chloie Brinton added three and Natalie Palmer scored two as well. Abbie Miller set up her teammates well in the contest, recording 23 assists. Palmer had 17 assists in the contest as well. On the defensive side of the ball Makayla Broadbent and Jules Fink each recorded four blocks, with Tanuvasa recording three as well. Nixon played well defensively as well, leading the team in digs with 16.
In the opening set, neither team was able to establish a substantial lead and no team led by more than three. The Wolverines found themselves down 18-15 before a Dorius kill sparked a 4-0 run to reclaim the lead. After CSU retook the lead at 20-19, the Wolverines rallied off another 3-0 run to take a 22-20 lead. Kalea Kennedy scored the set-clinching point off of the assist from Palmer.
In the second set, CSU was able to find separation by means of a 3-0 run and establish a 16-13 lead. Both teams had traded scores up to that point however the Wolverines conceded the lead. They battled back with a 3-0 run of their own to knot things at 17. After another 3-0 CSU run, attack errors by Tanuvasa and Kennedy ultimately led to CSU taking the second set, 25-22.
In the third set, the Wolverines established themselves and set the tone for the rest of the match. Trailing 11-9 early, a CSU service error sparked a 14-1 run for the Wolverines. Then holding a commanding 22-12 lead, the Wolverines withstood a 5-1 run from the Cougars and finished the set 25-17.
After dominating the third set, the Wolverines had no intention of allowing this match to go to a fifth set. Breaking precedent from previous sets, the Wolverines grabbed a lead early, going up 9-3 off of a 8-0 run. They followed up that run with another 5-1 run, taking a commanding 13-5 lead. CSU would not go away, however, as they responded with a 5-1 run of their own. Late in the set, after conceding another 3-0 run, the Wolverines still found themselves up 21-17. They seized the moment, scoring four unanswered points to close out the match, winning the set 25-17.
UVU is next set to face Seattle U at Lockhart Arena on October 8. The match tips off at 3 p.m. MT and can be streamed on ESPN+.
Sports Editor and Senior Staff Writer
Senior at Utah Valley University majoring in applied communications.