Sept. 3, 2011
OREM, Utah - Lindsay Barker, Chelsey Heaps and Jaicee Kuresa all finished in double digits in kills Saturday afternoon at the La Quinta Inn and Suites Invitational as they helped lead Utah Valley to a thrilling five-set win over visiting Cal Poly 3-2 (25-14, 22-25, 25-19, 13-25, 15-11). The win improved the Wolverines to 3-2 on the year while the loss dropped the Mustangs to 3-3.
"It is good to win and we executed well in the games that we did win," UVU head coach Sam Atoa said. That's the whole thing, you need three good sets and that is what we did."
"I'm proud of the girls for bouncing back in the fifth set after having such a horrible fourth one. It was nice to have that break because it gave us time to regroup."
Barker finished with a career-high tying 15 kills, hit .370 and added five service aces and five digs to lead the way. Heaps posted a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs and Kuresa added 10 kills.
UVU's Barker started strong in the opening set as she had four kills and a service ace in the first 12 points of the match. During the stretch the Wolverines broke a 5-all tie by scoring five of the next six points to take a 10-6 advantage. UVU then extended its lead all the way to eight at 18-10 following an 8-1 run. The Wolverines continued their hot play by cruising to an 11-point set win.
In the first set the Wolverines outhit the Mustangs .269 to zero. UVU also tallied four team blocks to Cal Poly's one and four service aces to the Mustangs none.
The second set was a different story early on however as Cal Poly took a 15-9 advantage midway through the set following a block. The Wolverines came roaring back and tied the score at 17 following a Brookelyn Campbell
and Sarah Clement
block assist. The Mustangs then took back the momentum momentarily to go up 21-17. UVU got back within two but Cal Poly held on to take set and tie the match at 1-1.
The trio of Barker, Kuresa and Erica Nish helped UVU jump out to a 6-0 lead in the third set. Following a couple Cal Poly points, the Wolverines added to their lead on a Heaps kill to go up 10-3. The Mustangs then responded by scoring eight of the next nine points to tie the score at 11. UVU then pulled ahead later and took a 23-17 lead on back-to-back Barker service aces. The Wolverines went on to win the set on a Cal Poly service error. Barker and Heaps paced UVU with four kills apiece in the set.
In the fourth set the Mustangs -- who are currently receiving votes in the AVCA Top-25 poll -- jumped out to an 8-1 lead in a must-win set for the visitors. Cal Poly later extended its lead to 19-6. The Wolverines then rolled off five of the next six points to cut the deficit to nine but it was too much to overcome as the Mustangs won the set by 12 points.
In the decisive fifth set, Nish and Campbell teamed up for a block to put the Wolverines up 4-2 and back-to-back Cal Poly attack errors extended UVU's lead to 6-2. The Mustangs later trimmed the deficit to one at 7-6 but UVU scored three straight points to go ahead 10-6. After a couple Cal Poly points Clement connected on two kills to put UVU up 12-9. With the Wolverines up 13-11, Kuresa shut the door on the Mustangs with two straight kills to close out the match.
Clement and Campbell also finished with solid performances for the Wolverines, as Clement finished with seven blocks and Campbell had 37 assists.
The Wolverines will conclude play in the La Quinta Inn and Suites Invitational with one more match at 7 p.m. tonight against Santa Clara. Following that match UVU will continue its homestand with matches against Syracuse and BYU-Hawai'i on Monday at 1 p.m. and Tuesday at 7 p.m. respective.