Volleyball wins two over in-state rival Dixie State

Utah Valley volleyball improved to 8-3 this season with a win over Dixie State on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (Photo by Hunter Hall)

The first Division I rendition of the Old Hammer Rivalry went to the Utah Valley women’s volleyball team, as the Wolverines won both games against the Dixie State Trailblazers in St. George on March 1 and 2. 

UVU fought back from a 2-1 deficit to win the first match in five sets. Junior outside hitter Kazna Tanuvasa led the team with 17 kills, while senior setter Jaysa Funk Stratton added 28 assists and 11 digs for her second double-double of the season. 

In the first set, the Trailblazers were able to take control, using an 11-4 run to take a 22-11 lead. Tanuvasa rattled off three straight kills to cut into the DSU lead, but it wasn’t enough as the Trailblazers won the set 25-18. 

The second set started out in favor of the Trailblazers, as they jumped out to a 7-2 lead. The Wolverines would then go on a 14-4 run to take control of the set thanks to the work of Tanuvasa and sophomore outside hitter Tori Dorius and ultimately won the set 25-20. 

Set three was back and forth, as neither team was able to take complete control. The two teams were tied at 23, 24, and 25, but the Trailblazers were able to break the deadlock, winning the set 27-25.

The Wolverines were able to bounce back, dominating the fourth set. UVU jumped out to a 12-5 lead and, following a pair of DSU points, rattled off a 10-4 run to take a 22-11 lead. That lead proved insurmountable for the Trailblazers as the Wolverines took the set 25-15.

The final set started out back and forth, but UVU was able to take control late in the set. After a DSU run cut the lead to one at 11-10, the Wolverines were able to score four straight points, including two Kendra Nock kills that sealed the victory. 

In the second match, the Wolverines picked up right where they left off the night before, with a dominating 25-14 first set victory. The second set started out similar, as UVU took an early 14-7 lead, but the Trailblazers bounced back to tie the score at 19. The Wolverines rebounded with a 6-2 run to hold on to win the set.

The third and final set was another close one, with neither team holding a lead of more than three until the closing moments. After DSU tied the score at 20, the Wolverines used a 5-1 run to clinch the set and match victory.

Following the road trip, the Wolverines will return home to the Lockhart Arena to take on the New Mexico State Aggies on March 8 and 9. The matchup will feature the top two teams in the WAC, as the Aggies currently sit in first place with an 8-0 conference record, while the Wolverines have an 8-2 record. The first match is scheduled for 6 p.m. MT and the second match is scheduled for 12 p.m. MT. Both matches will be streamed on the WAC Digital Network

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