UVU suffers fifth loss in six match in three-set sweep to SFA

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Utah Valley Volleyball fell to Stephen F. Austin 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-20), losing their second conference game of the season. 

UVU held a commanding lead in the first two sets but couldn’t maintain their advantage, falling to 4-10 on the season and 1-2 in conference play. 

The first set consisted frequent lead changes, with Utah Valley stabilizing a 16-13 lead. Despite this small cushion, the Wolverines allowed the Jacks to storm back with a 12-2 run to win the set. 

The Wolverines would hit just .194 in the set with a .290 kill percentage.  

The second set was dominated by the Wolverines. UVU would hold a 10-5 lead early, backed by a strong performance from senior Abbie Mederios who had seven assists by this point.  

Much like the first set, the Jacks stormed back to pressure the Wolverines. 

SFA would close the scoring gap to 17-16, prompting a UVU timeout.  

At this juncture, Mederios and senior outside-hitter Tori Ellis checked back into the game to help the Wolverines avoid a 2-0 deficit. 

The duo helped ease the pressure on Utah Valley, moving the score to 20-20 before checking out once again. 

But SFA would come back yet again, ending the set with a 5-1 run to secure a commanding 2-0 set lead.  

UVU had 13 kills in the set, increased from nine in the first, but could not match Stephen F. Austin’s 16 kills in set two. 

Unlike the first two sets, Utah Valley found themselves trailing early in set tree. The Jacks would utilize a strong defensive performance to bolster a 9-7 lead, prompting a Wolverine timeout.  

The Jacks extended their lead to 15-10, similar to UVU’s lead in the first two sets. However, UVU rallied a small comeback, trimming the deficit to 15-12. 

Utah Valley featured excellent passing throughout the match, only surrendering just five total errors. But excellent passing was not enough to get through the Jacks wall of a defensive front as they stifled the Wolverines with 11 blocks. 

The Wolverines managed to score eight of the next 18 points, but could not complete the comeback, falling 25-20 in the third set. 

Despite the sweep, the matchup had its bright spots. Senior outside-hitter Kalea Kennedy stood out with six kills from just 15 attacks, using her powerful arm to keep the Wolverines in the match. 

Mederios led UVU with 11 kills, a kill and three digs in her performance. 

Collectively, Utah Valley surrendered 24 errors, with 20 of them stemming from attacks. 

UVU aims to right the ship on Saturday afternoon as they take on UT Arlington at 1 p.m. at the Lockhardt Arena. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.