FRESNO, Calif. -- After dropping a tough, five-set contest to UC Davis Friday night, the Utah Valley University volleyball team responded nicely to begin day two of the Fresno State Classic, defeating Sacramento State in straight sets (25-13, 25-14, 25-22) Saturday morning.
UVU (3-4) held a slim 8-5 lead over Sacramento State (4-4) early in set one, but blew the set open with a pair of runs. A kill from McKenna Tait and back-to-back service aces from Kalani Norris triggered a 5-0 spurt to push the lead to 13-5.
The Wolverines and Hornets traded points until another 5-0 UVU run saw a 15-10 lead become a 20-10 advantage. Norris smashed a kill in the series while Katie Fritzler delivered a kill and combined with Erica Nish for a block assist.
Fritzler left her mark on the set, combining with Nish again for another block assist, then notching a kill and a service ace in the final five Wolverine points to secure a 25-13 first-set, UVU win.
In set two, the storyline shifted from a series of short runs to that of one large, sustained spurt. With the score knotted at 12-12, the Wolverines caught fire. Following an attack error from Sacramento State, Tait dropped in an ace and Fritzler blasted a kill, a sequence that would ignite a huge 13-2 rally for UVU.
Fritzler would go on to finish with five kills in the set, as the Wolverines also got kills from Norris and Jaramey Barney in the deciding run. UVU would take set two 25-14.
Facing a 2-0 deficit, the Hornets responded with resiliency in the third set. Trailing for much of the early going, Sacramento State used a 5-0 run of their own to take a 12-10 lead. Jessie Genger had two kills and combined for a block assist during the run.
The Hornet lead grew to as many as four at 17-13, but the Wolverines managed to keep within striking distance. With the set in the balance, UVU got three consecutive kills - one from Cassie Wahlin
followed by a pair from Norris - to pull back within one.
From there, the two sides traded blows until the finish. Sacramento State held a 21-20 advantage, but a Hornet error combined with a block from Fritzler and Brookelyn Hall restored the lead to the Wolverines at 22-21. A kill by Hannah Hettinga tied the match at 22, but the next three points went to the Wolverines, punctuated by a service ace from Hall to seal the game and the match, 25-22.
Fritzler posted her second consecutive match with double-digit kills, matching her total from Friday night with 10. Norris added seven while Tait finished with six. The quartet of Hall, Nish, Fritzler, and freshman Lauren Stringham combined for 11 of UVU's 14 blocks.
The Wolverines continue play at the Fresno State Classic tonight, when it squares off with host school Fresno State at 8 p.m.