Photo by Mykah Heaton
SEATTLE–The Utah Valley University volleyball team fell behind early to open the match, but came back to defeat Seattle University in three sets (25-23, 25-13, 25-21) Saturday. With the victory, the Wolverines improved to .500 for the first time all year, at 13-13 overall and third place in the Western Athletic Conference at 8-4.
“I was very pleased with the girls’ effort. They did a fabulous job of making that run and turning things around in that first set,” said UVU head coach Sam Atoa in a statement to wolverinegreen.com. “It was a great overall effort from all of our kids to absolutely own this game. They played well and it was great to see.”
The Redhawks doubled up the Wolverines early, jumping out to a 16-8 lead in the opening set. The road team then responded in a big way, putting together a run of their own to tie the score at 21-21. The spurt for Utah Valley was fueled by kills from Lexi Thompson and errors committed by the Redhawks. Leading 24-23, an attack error by Kory White gave the first set to the Wolverines.
In set number two, it was the Redhawks who fell behind early, however, they were unable to weather the storm. It was more of the same for the Wolverines, as Thompson continued her strong play at the net alongside Kiahna Vernon, who finished with a match-high 13 kills. The duo helped the team skyrocket to a 20-8 lead. Moments later, a Vernon kill was the exclamation point on a dominant second set for the Wolverines.
Already holding a two-set lead on the road, the Wolverines went for their first road sweep of the season. The final set was much like the first as the teams traded serves to a 12-12 tie. Utah Valley then reeled off six straight points to pull away from the Redhawks. Seattle made things interesting down the stretch by pulling within three at 24-21. However, the Wolverines finished it off with a kill from Thompson to complete the sweep.
The Wolverines close out the regular season with home contests against Grand Canyon and CSU Bakersfield next week. The next match comes Thursday, Nov. 10, against GCU in the PE Gym.