The Wolverine volleyball team failed to win a match during the two-day Wolverine classic at UVU. Some would say that it was a weekend to forget in the sporting world, but head coach Sam Atoa felt differently following the final match of the tournament versus the University of Utah.
“I’m pleased with the effort, but not yet satisfied,” Atoa said. “I’m proud of the girls for being able to embrace this opportunity to get on the court again, especially against Utah. We need to be able to come prepared and ready to compete. It doesn’t have to be against Utah or BYU, we need to play well against everyone.”
The Utes defeated UVU 3-1. Utah jumped out quickly and won the first two sets of the match (25-19 and 25-21). The third set proved to be the most exciting set of the tournament, and the best set the Wolverines played over the weekend.
Trailing by two (21-23), UVU got back-to-back kills from senior Kalani Norris. She finished with 14 kills and five digs. From there, the game went back and forth. Both fan bases took turns standing up with one finger in the air representing the final point needed for the set. This particular set was so close that both fan bases stood up twice in the final few points before a kill by freshman Macky Treanor and a combined block from Katie Fritzler and Cassie Wahlin sealed the deal for UVU. Unfortunately for the Wolverines, they we’re unable to carry that momentum into the fourth set, losing 15-25.
“I think, overall, we played pretty good,” Treanor said. “We had a little bit of a struggle finishing games. I feel like we played pretty well for the majority of the time but we just need to finish. We fought hard and we got pretty close in all of our games we just need to make sure we finish all of them.”
The match against Utah was eerily similar to the match the Wolverines played earlier in the day versus the Anteaters of UC Irvine. They lost that match 3-1 as well.
UVU dropped the first two sets, won the second and lost the fourth. The Wolverines had no answer for the Anteaters’ serve in that match. The UC Irvine offensive attack was lethal. The Anteaters maintained a .500 hitting percentage for most of the match and finished with an astounding percentage of .421. Hitting percentage is much like batting average in baseball.
Cassie Wahlin’s play was a bright spot in both matches as she had four kills and 12 digs, but was not enough to put the Wolverines over the top.
The Wolverines lost their first match of the tournament against Idaho State as well. This one was much closer than the final two matches of the tournament. UVU lost 3-2, but after trailing early was able to mount a furious comeback that came up just short.
Brookelyn Hall and Lauren Stringham were named to the all-tournament team. Stringham was especially good in the Utah match. She had 10 kills and led the team in hitting percentage with a .421 mark. Hall led with the team with an incredible 122 assists in the tournament.
Matthew Baiamonte is a senior at UVU, studying journalism with a sports emphasis. He is originally from Pleasant Grove, Utah. Sports are his passion, especially the Los Angeles Lakers. He plans on becoming a national sports broadcaster when he finished up his degree. Follow him on twitter @baiamontematt, you won’t regret it.