Kenzie Jones, Sports Editor, @KenzieScribbler
In the final game of the La Quinta Inn & Suites Invitational on Saturday night the Utah Valley Wolverines came from behind and defeated the Universtiy of Portland. The game was decided after five set which played out in a mirror fashion of the game played against UC Riverside earlier that day. The final set scores of the match are 25-18, 11-25, 21-25, 25-19, 15-13.
The Wolverines got off to a smashing start as they jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the the opening set. Portland tried to gain a foot hold but try as they might the Pilots couldn’t muster a rally even after bringing the score to with in three at 16-13. UVU was showing off their dominance as they responded by scoring nine of the next 14 point and closed out the set.
After giving UP a run for their money in the first it looked like the Wolverines were going to take the win without much trouble. As the the second got underway the energy in the first changed sides and Portland took control. The Pilots took advantage of multiple UVU errors in the beginning of the set and along with kills by Sarah Savoca, Maddy Mandon, and Emily Liger put the score at 7-3. The errors at the start looked to be getting into the Wolverine’s heads as the Pilots went on an 11-4 run to gain and even bigger lead of 18-7. UVU managed to score four more points, but it wasn’t enough to stop Portland from taking the set.
The Pilot’s were able to carry their rally over into the third set. A kill by Makayla Lindburg began an 11-1 run in at the start of the set and gave UP the 11-2 lead. The Wolverine’s couldn’t buy a run regardless of the effort put forth. When the score was at 20-12 UVU finally managed to earn six of the next nine points in the frame and cut the deficit to 23-18. The Pilots held off the run and took the set brining the match score to 2-1.
The forth set brought about a different tone as neither team could muster up much of an out pacing run. The score volleyed back and forth, keeping with in 2 points for the majority of the frame. It wasn’t until a kill from Madison Wolford followed by back-to-back aces from McKenna Tait that the Wolverines found a foot hold and brought the score to 14-13. Those plays sparked UVU into motion as they stretched their lead to 21-15 after a 5 point unanswered run. From there the Wolverines finished off the set and forced the match to continue into a fifth.
UVU fead off the energy from the fourth and the fans as they took and early 6-4 advantage. The Pilots proved once again that they weren’t going down easily as they countered with four straight points to steel the lead at 8-6. The scored bounced back and forth until Portland snagged a dangerous lead, 13-11. That was when Kalani Norris guided UVU back into control with a kill, block, and kill which gave the Wolverines a 14-13 match-point advantage. A final kill by Lauren Bakker drilled home the next point and decided the match in Utah Valley’s favor.
The lady Wolverines now get ready to start their second season of play in the Western Athletic Conference as they take on Seattle on Saturday, September 27th. The game will take place at home and starts at 1:00p.m. MT.
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