Sept. 14, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY - Four players finished in double figures in kills as the Utah Valley University volleyball team pulled out a tightly contested four-set match over Cal Poly Friday evening at the Utah Classic, 3-1 (26-28, 26-24, 25-21, 30-28), in Salt Lake City The victory was the Wolverines' (6-4) fourth straight and second of the day as they defeated Nevada earlier in the afternoon.
"We knew it was going to be a battle because they're (Cal Poly) a much better team than their record indicates," said UVU coach Sam Atoa. "The credit goes to our girls for executing well and playing at a high level of volleyball. That's what allowed us to win these very close sets."
UVU junior Brookelyn Hall notched her first triple-double of the season as she tallied a match-high 45 assists, a team-high 14 digs and a season-high 10 kills. Freshman Bailey Farris led the way in kills with 14, while senior Erica Nish added 12 and freshman Lauren Stringham had 10. Stringham also recorded two solo blocks and eight block assists and Farris also blocked well with five block assists and a solo.
After dropping an extra-point affair in the opening set, the Wolverines jumped out to a quick 5-1 advantage early in the second. The Mustangs (1-9) battled right back however with six unanswered points to take a 7-5 lead of their own. The set went back-and-forth from there as no team led by more than three points the rest of the frame.
With the second set tied at 24-all, Farris helped UVU even the match by scoring the next two points, one by ace and the other by kill, to take the set 26-24. Hall, Farris and sophomore McKenna Tait all recorded three kills apiece for UVU in the set, while Stringham had four block assists.
The third set stayed very close as no team led by more than two points until the Wolverines went up by three at 21-18 after a Cal Poly attack error. The Mustangs cut the deficit to one, at 21-20, but Farris sparked another rally in which the Wolverines scored four of the next five points to take the set 25-21. Farris had two kills and two blocks during the stretch.
With UVU leading 2-1, Cal Poly took control of the fourth set early on as it jumped out to a 10-4 advantage. The Wolverines quickly came back and an ace from Nish tied the set at 13-all and a kill by Stringham gave UVU a 14-13 lead.
The Mustangs worked a late 23-19 lead in the fourth but the Wolverines rallied to score six of the next seven points to take a 25-24 advantage. Play continued from there until a kill from junior Katie Fritlzer put the Wolverines up 29-28 and a Cal Poly attack error helped UVU take the set and the match. Stringham led the Wolverines in the final frame with six kills and Hall finished right behind her with four.
Holly Franks led Cal Poly in the contest with a match-high 17 kills.
The Wolverines will be back in action next Tuesday, Sept. 18, when they travel to Cedar City, Utah to take on in-state foe Southern Utah.
On Saturday Hall and Nish were named to the Utah Classic All-Tournament Team after the two helped the Wolverines go 2-1 at the tournament. The setter Hall recorded 113 assists (10.27 assist/set average), 22 digs, eight block assists and a solo block, 14 kills and three service aces during the classic, while the Middle Blocker Nish had 18 kills, eight block assists and a solo block, nine digs and four aces.
2012 Utah Classic All-Tournament Team
Bailey Bateman, Utah
Shelby Dalton, Utah
Brookelyn Hall, Utah Valley
Erica Nish, Utah Valley
Holly Franks, Cal Poly
Kelly Chang, Nevada
MVP - Morgan Odale, Utah