Volleyball wins ‘Old Hammer Rivalry’ in five sets

The volleyball team defeated Dixie State in five sets on Thursday, Oct. 14. (Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics)

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The Utah Valley women’s volleyball team rallied to defeat the Dixie State Trailblazers 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-16, 15-13) in the latest rendition of the Old Hammer Rivalry on Thursday, Oct. 14 in St. George. 

With the victory, the Wolverines improved to 9-8 and 4-2 in WAC play. Thursday’s match was UVU’s seventh to go five sets, giving the Wolverines a 4-3 record in those matches. 

Senior outside hitter Kazna Tanuvasa led the offense with 15 kills, while junior outside hitter Kalea Kennedy added 14 of her own. Sophomore libero Bryton Bishop nearly set a career-high with 25 digs, while senior middle blocker Sadie Hamson had a match-high five blocks. Senior outside hitter Kristen Bell logged a double-double with 12 kills and 16 digs.

The Trailblazers used a 14-2 run to take a 21-14 lead in the opening set, but the Wolverines responded with an 8-1 run to even the score at 22. DSU responded with three of the final four points to take the set.

Neither team led by more than three in the second set, but the Trailblazers looked like they had the momentum towards the end of the set. A 5-1 run gave DSU a 22-20 advantage, but the Wolverines responded with five straight points to tie things up at 1. 

Set three was a set of runs, the last of which was by the Trailblazers. After trailing 22-19, DSU bounced back with a 6-1 run to take the set and put UVU on the brink. 

The Wolverines took over the fourth set early and never looked back. After jumping out to an early 7-1 lead, DSU trimmed the lead down to three, but that was the closest they would get for the rest of the set. Tanuvasa and Kennedy led the Wolverines on a 13-5 run to give UVU a comfortable lead. After trading the last few points, UVU ultimately won the set 25-16. 

DSU bounced back from the rough fourth set with a 6-2 run to open the final set. Tanuvasa and Bell helped spark a 10-3 run to regain the lead at 12-9, but the Trailblazers weren’t done yet. The two teams traded points before Tanuvasa knocked in the game-winning kill to win the set 15-13. 

Rivalry week continues for the women’s volleyball team, as they will now play host to the Dixie State Trailblazers on Saturday, Oct. 16 at the Lockhart Arena. The match is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. MDT and can be streamed on ESPN+.

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