Volleyball: UVU outlasts GCU for fifth straight win

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Photo by Cody Glassett

PHOENIX–The Utah Valley University volleyball team kept its winning streak alive with a victory over Grand Canyon University Saturday afternoon in Phoenix. UVU (9-11, 5-2) notched its fifth straight win when it downed GCU (4-15, 0-7) in four sets (23-25, 25-23, 25-9, 25-12).

Utah Valley started slowly, and fell behind 5-2 in the opening minutes. The Wolverines battled back, and tied the score at 8-8 on a Lexi Thompson kill. The teams traded points until another Thompson kill sparked a 5-1 run for the Wolverines, which gave them a 20-15 advantage. The Antelopes responded with a 10-3 run of their own and won the first set in thrilling fashion.

The second set began much like the first as UVU fell behind 4-1 to start things off before it fought back to tie the score at 5-5 on a GCU attack error. With the score knotted at 20, Grand Canyon’s Katrice Pond recorded a kill and followed it up with a block to give her team a two-point advantage. But the Wolverines would not be done in so easily as Thompson recorded yet another kill and the Wolverines won the second set on a 4-1 run.

The opening minutes of the third set were close as the teams recorded four ties and three lead changes early. With the score tied at 4-4, Madison Dennison and Kelcee Munk came up big with a block that gave the Wolverines the lead and kicked off a 12-2 scoring run. UVU would not look back as it took the third set handily.

The Wolverines carried their momentum into the fourth set, and scored the first four points before the Antelopes were able to get on the board. With UVU beginning to build a commanding lead, GCU mounted a comeback. The Antelopes pulled to within three when a UVU error made the score 11-8. The Wolverines responded with a Brighton Taylor kill that began an 8-0 scoring run for Utah Valley. Grand Canyon was unable to bounce back as it fell to the Wolverines in the final set.

With the win, UVU is tied for second place in the conference behind New Mexico State. The Wolverines return home next week to take on the Aggies Thursday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m. MT at the UCCU Center.