Wolverines fall to CBU in 3-1 decision

The Utah Valley women’s volleyball team dropped their second-straight match in a 3-1 defeat to the California Baptist Lancers on Thursday evening.

Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics.

The Utah Valley women’s volleyball team (16-9, 10-3 conference) lost 3-1 (25-27, 233-25, 25-14, 20-25) to the California Baptist University Lancers (11-13, 6-7) on Thursday at the Van Dyne Gym in Riverside, California. 

Despite the loss, the Wolverines currently remain in second place in the Western Athletic Conference standings and hold the tiebreaker over the Stephen F. Austin University Lumberjacks (22-4, 10-3) due to UVU winning the regular-season matchup 3-1.

Tori Dorius led the team in kills with 11 while posting seven blocks. Kazna Tanuvasa had nine kills for the Wolverines while also putting up nine digs on defense. Caleigh Vagana led the team in blocks with 11 while Makayla Broadbent followed with eight. Natalie Palmer had the most assist with 17 and Bryton Nixon had 22 digs with three assists. Abbie Miller also had a team-high of two service aces,16 assists, and five digs.

The Lancers began the first set staying a few points ahead of the Wolverines each time UVU tried to respond until CBU had an 11-7 lead. The Wolverines finally responded with a 4-0 run to tie things up 11-11.

Following the tie, Both teams continued to exchange points until the Lancers led 20-18. Avery Shewell then quickly went on a 2-0 run with a kill, forcing a Lancers’ error to again even the score 20-20. 

CBU once again battled for the lead, going back up 24-23 but two costly errors by the Lancers would help the Wolverines take the lead 25-24. Unfortunately for UVU, CBU used a 3-0 run to close out the set with a 27-25 win and take a 1-0 match lead.

The second set began with another Lancers’ lead as they started up 11-6. The Wolverines tried to respond with a 4-1 run to make the score 12-10 but CBU went on a 9-3 run to extend their lead 21-13. 

Despite the deficit, the Wolverines never gave up as they answered with an 8-2 run to cut the CBU lead down to 23-21. The Lancers responded with a quick score to back up by three but the Wolverines, with a kill by Vagana and an error by CBU, got back within one point with the score being 24-23. However, Christine Graf scored the set-winning kill to the Lancers the 25-23 victory and a 2-0 match lead.

The roles alternated to begin the third set as the Wolverines opened with a 12-7 lead that began with Dorius scoring the first three points of the set for UVU. The Wolverines followed with a 4-0 run that consisted of both of Miller’s service aces to go up 16-7. 

CBU tried to battle their way back into the set, eventually cutting the Wolverines’ lead down to a 20-13 deficit. However, the Wolverines closed out the set on a 5-1 run after forcing four consecutive Lancer errors and using a Hailey Cuff set-winning kill to come up with a 25-14 set win and cut CBU’s match lead in half 2-1.

The Lancers started the fourth set with vengeance, opening with a 5-0 lead. However, the Wolverines used a 10-6 run to make the CBU lead 11-10. 

CBU then went on a 12-5 run to take control of the set and go up 23-15. The Wolverines tried to respond again with a 5-1 run, but a kill by Lancer Laura Walewski would seal the set 25-20 win for CBU and win the match 3-1. 

With the win, the Lancers now win the all-time series between both programs 5-4. 

The Wolverines will next play in their regular-season finale in a critical matchup against the WAC fourth-place Grand Canyon University Lopes (15-9, 9-4) on Saturday at 2 p.m. MT in Phoenix, Arizona. The match can be streamed on ESPN+.

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