Kenzie Jones, Sports Editor, @KenzieScribbler
In front of a season high 1,829 fans in the PE Building on Monday night the Utah Valley Wolverines swept in state foe, Utah State, on Senior Night. The matched marked the last one at home that seniors Jen Hardman, Kalani Norris, McKenna Tait, and Cassie Wahlin will play. The ladies were all honored prior to the first serve.
The victory goes down at Utah Valley’s third in a row and fourth over Utah State in the last five tries. The match’s final set scores were 25-22, 25-22, 25-21. The match also brought the Wolverines’ home season recored to 8-4.
The Aggies pulled together a 5-0 run early in the opening set and brought their already slight advantage to a distance that doubled UVU, 12-6. Later the Wolverines used a run of 6-1 to get back in the game and pull within one (18-17). On an Aggie attack error, Utah Valley took charge of the frame an kept up their momentum as they took their first lead in the set at 21-20. By scoring four of the next six points UVU closed the frame in their favor.
The second frame stayed close as neither team made a strong move to pull far enough ahead of the opposing team. After reeling off four unanswered points, Utah Valley laid claim to an 18-14 lead. The Aggies pulled within one (18-17) by answering back with three straight points. That would be as close as USU would get for the rest of the set and took their second in match victory.
Once again the Aggies held the upper hand following the intermission break as they leapt to an 8-4 lead. It was short lived as UVU closed the gap by scoring five of the next six points to tie the set at 9-all. Thanks to back-to-back aces from Hardman, the Wolverines later took a 16-13 advantage and soon stretched that to 23-19 following a solo block from junior defensive star, Lauren Bakker. It looked like the set and match was in the bag until Utah State came back and some how pulled within two at 23-21. It was a nail biter until UVU pulled off the sweep two points later after a block assist from Bakker and Kiahna Steiner.
It was not just a memorable night for the seniors, but for Bakker as well. Last week she had become UVU’s all time leader in solo blocks and total blocks. Bakker set her third blocking record in as many matches in this game. She passed Jessica Endres (2004-07) early in the opening set for the first-place in block assists and now leads UVU in that category with 386 for her career.
The lady Wolverines will now head on the road for their final two matches of the regular season this coming weekend. First they will faces off against Bakersfield on Thursday, November 13th. The game will start at 8:00p.m. MT.
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