Wolverines sweep Chicago State in WAC Opener

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Atoa earns 350th win

Annie Hansen | Sports writer | @anniejhansen

CHICAGO, Ill. – Lauren Bakker and Lexi Thompson combined for 22 kills to help Utah Valley University sweep Chicago State three sets to none (25-20, 25-18, 25-21) Thursday evening in Chicago.

The win is the 350th of UVU head coach Sam Atoa’s career.

The Western Athletic Conference opener was a successful win as Bakker had 12 kills and Thompson recorded 10 kills. Sophomore Sierra Starley had 28 assists to help the Wolverines to the win as well.

Beginning in the first set, Chicago State won the first point. But it wasn’t enough for the Cougars as the Wolverines answered back quickly on the second and third point taking and holding the lead until the end of the first set.

The Wolverines took a 3-1 lead in the second set and never let the Cougars get closer than one at 10-9. From there on the Wolverines increased the lead to four on a kill by Bakker and an attack error and service error by the Cougars. The Wolverines finished off the set with back-to-back kills by Starley and Abby Jensen.

Abby Jensen also had a solid match with 8 kills, 10 digs and a match high .538 hit percentage.

Chicago took the upper hand early in the third set, jumping out to a quick 4-1 lead. However, UVU scored eight consecutive points and never looked back. UVU was ready to bring it home at 21-11, until Chicago battled back, going on a 10-3 run to put the set at 21-24. UVU finally ended it on a kill by Lexi Thompson to earn the sweep.

The Wolverines are 5-8 overall and 1-0 in WAC play. They will continue their two game road trip in Kansas City, Missouri playing the UMKC Kangaroos Saturday Sept. 26, at 1 p.m. MT.