Photo by Jesse Sanchez
BAKERSFIELD, Calif.–Following three straight impressive victories, the Utah Valley University volleyball team overcame an early deficit to come back and defeat the Cal State University, Bakersfield Roadrunners in five sets (9-25, 26-24, 24-26, 25-23, 15-7) Thursday night. The victory pushed the Wolverines’ win streak to four and also marked the team’s first road win of the season.
The first set began as a hard fought battle, after an error by the Roadrunners made the score 7-6 in favor of the home team. Things changed quickly though, as the Roadrunners went on a 13-0 run to go up 20-6. The spurt included eight kills, three of them by outside hitter Marina Sanches. The Wolverines were unable to put together a run of their own, and lost the first set by 16 points.
Following a sluggish first set, UVU (8-11, 4-2 WAC) responded in a big way. The second set began much like the first, as a kill by Lexi Thompson tied the score 7-7. After the Roadrunners reeled off a few points in a row, the Wolverines found themselves trailing 23-19. In the face of defeat, the Wolverines finished the set by scoring seven of the final eight points, five of which were errors by the Roadrunners (6-13, 3-3 WAC). The match was knotted 1-1.
The third set was highly contested, as neither team led by more than four points. After UVU tied the game at 24, the Roadrunners used a kill by Fabiana Andrade and a poor set by the Wolverines to take set number three.
UVU once again found themselves trailing, but they continued to dig deep. Trading blows left and right, the fourth set was tied at 22. However, this time it was the Wolverines who finished the set strong. A kill by the reigning Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week, Madison Dennison helped the Wolverines force a fifth set.
The final set was all UVU, as they jumped out to a 7-1 lead. A kill by Kiahna Vernon clinched the match for the Wolverines.
Utah Valley looks to pick up another road victory Saturday against Grand Canyon in Phoenix, Arizona at 2 p.m. MT.