KANSAS CITY-The Utah Valley University volleyball team was up early on the road against the University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos, but dropped the final three sets of the match, falling (26-24, 22-25, 20-25, 23-25) Thursday. The loss was especially tough for UVU, which now has the same amount of conference losses as UMKC.
Trailing 23-21 in the opening set, the Wolverines put together a run anchored by Madison Dennison to take the first set on the road. The rest of the match was just as competitive, but the Wolverines were the ones to let the Kangaroos back into it.
Utah Valley used its momentum from closing the first set to jump out to an early lead in the second. Lexi Thompson finished as the match leader in kills with 21, including two powerful strikes that helped the Wolverines get off to a 6-1 start. UMKC came storming back after a couple errors by UVU and two kills from Devan Porter, scoring six straight points to take the lead. The teams then traded blows to a 23-22 game in favor of the home squad. The Kangaroos finished off set number two with another kill from Porter.
UMKC dominated the decisive third set, racing out to its largest lead of the match at 14-6. Although UMKC played well during that stretch, UVU committed some costly errors, which aided the run. The Wolverines did mount a comeback to cut the deficit to three at 21-18, but the Kangaroos proved to be too much.
The final set was the most competitive of the match, as the teams went back and forth to an 11-11 tie. The Kangaroos committed a number of unforced errors and allowed Thompson to continue to get kill after kill. With the game tied once again, this time at 20, the Wolverines scored back-to-back points and looked to knot the match up at two. However, Porter and the Kangaroos had a much different idea, ending the match by scoring five of the final six points.
With the loss the Wolverines fell to 10-13 (6-4 WAC) on the year, meanwhile the Kangaroos improved to 12-10 (5-4 WAC). Utah Valley will once again hit the road to take on Chicago State Saturday at 11 a.m. MT.
I’m a Pacific Northwest guy who loves his Pacific Northwest sports. An amateur movie buff who prefers the disc to digital. Chasing the sports writing dream while I geek out on Assassin’s Creed.