Photo by Jesse Sanchez
PLEASANT GROVE, Utah–The Utah Valley University volleyball team fought its way to a 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 25-20) victory Saturday against the Seattle University Redhawks at Pleasant Grove High School. With the win, the Wolverines have won three matches in a row and are tied for second in the Western Athletic Conference standings with a 3-2 conference record.
It was quite the homecoming for junior Madison Dennison, a 2014 Pleasant Grove graduate, who recorded a career-high 17 kills.
“Madison’s never played in this gym but it was great for her to be able to do that here. She brings that every single day to practice and I love the way she plays the game,” said UVU head coach Sam Atoa in a statement to WolverineGreen.com.
The Wolverines also benefitted from big afternoons by Kiahna Vernon and Lexi Thompson, who both finished with 13 kills.
Seattle scored the first three points of the match and looked to be settling in nicely. However, the home team responded with a 10-2 run to go up by five. The run was fueled by three aggressive kills by Dennison. The Wolverines never looked back early and won the first set 25-20.
The second set was a highly contested battle by both sides. With the game knotted at 19, Seattle went on a 6-3 run to win their only set of the day. They were led by Matea Mamic, who, along with Dennison, was named to the preseason All-WAC team.
The Wolverines used an 11-3 run in the third set to pull away from a 10-10 tie with Seattle. The Redhawks then sucked the air out of the building as they fought back to within one point. However, UVU closed out the set nicely, thanks in large part to two kills from Kelcee Munk down the stretch, to win 25-22.
After taking two of the first three sets, the Wolverines jumped out to a 15-5 lead in the fourth and final set. Seattle responded with a spurt of their own, however, the lead proved to be too much as UVU prevailed 25-20.
The Wolverines look to continue their winning ways next week as they travel to take on CSU Bakersfield Thursday, Oct. 13, at 8 p.m. MT.