- INSIDE ATHLETICS
- STUDENT ATHLETES
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- WOLVERINE CLUB
UVU Outlasts Boise State at Home Monday Night
Oct. 10, 2011
OREM, Utah -- On a night that saw four different Wolverines reach double-digit kills, Utah Valley rallied after dropping the first set to defeat Boise State 3-1 (20-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-19) in a non-conference matchup Monday night in the Activity Center. Middle blockers Erica Nish and Sarah Clement came up big for UVU (14-6), delivering 13 and 11 kills respectively to go along with a combined 13 blocks.
"We knew Boise State was a little inexperienced in the middle, and that happens to be where we have a good deal of experience," noted UVU head coach Sam Atoa. "We felt that if we could pass the ball well, we could take advantage of our strength in the middle. And defensively we had a good game, getting 14 blocks to their 11."
Boise State (11-9), a member of the Mountain West Conference, looked strong after breaking a 7-7 tie with five consecutive points to take a 12-7 lead early in the match. UVU cut the deficit to three after a kill from Nish and a BSU error, but the Broncos would rally again, scoring five of the next six points to jump ahead 17-11. With the set almost slipping away, the Wolverines would mount a determined comeback effort ignited by a pair of kills from Jaicee Kuresa and a block from Clement that cut the deficit to 18-15. But three was the closest UVU would come, eventually dropping the first set 25-20.
UVU claimed an early lead in the second set, stringing together a 6-1 run to grab an 8-5 lead after kills from Lindsay Barker, Kuresa, and a pair of blocks from Nish. Boise State would respond, though, eventually taking a 14-13 advantage midway through the frame. But the Wolverines would recapture the momentum at just the right time, turning a 15-15 tie into a 25-17 second set win. Chelsey Heaps drilled a pair of kills during the decisive rally while Clement helped deliver the final three points of the set, smashing a kill and combining with Campbell for back-to-back block assists. Clement would finish with a match-high nine total blocks on the night.
Kuresa and Heaps delivered two kills apiece as the Wolverines got off to a fast start in the third set, grabbing an early 6-2 lead. The Broncos would fight their way back to within one point at 8-7, but a pair of kills from Nish, three block assists from tandems of Heaps-Clement, Kuresa-Clement, Campbell-Nish, and a solo block from Heaps propelled the Wolverines to 20-12 advantage. From there, the home team would coast to a 25-18 win in the third set. UVU outhit Boise State .393 to .135 and never trailed in the frame.
In a must-win fourth set, the Broncos took an early lead after a 7-2 run put them ahead 9-7. But after a block assist from Clement and Heaps gave the Wolverines the lead at 10-9, UVU would take control of the set, never surrendering the lead from there on. A block assist from Campbell and Clement, followed by a kill from Campbell, put the Wolverines up 19-15, and another block from Clement and Kuresa would cap a spurt that shot UVU ahead 23-16. The Wolverines wouldn't look back from there, taking the set 25-19, and winning the match, its fourth in a row, 3-1.
"Boise outplayed us in every phase of the game in the first set, however I felt our girls responded by making a few minor adjustments," explained Atoa of his team's ability to bounce back from the first set loss. "Once we made those adjustments we were able to take control of the rest of the match. I take my hat off to the girls because they really executed well."
Along with Nish and Clement, Heaps also hit 11 kills to go along with 13 digs for her seventh double-double of the season. Kuresa finished with 10 kills and Brookelyn Campbell had 43 assists and four block assists for the Wolverines.
The win improves UVU's all-time record against the Broncos to 8-2. The match marked the first leg of a home-and-home between UVU and Boise State during the 2011 season. The two teams will meet again in Boise, Idaho, on Nov. 1.
The Wolverines will now hit the road and embark on what will be a four match, conference road trip over the next two weekends. The away stretch begins Thursday when UVU travels to the Lone Star State for a Great West Conference match against Texas-Pan American at 6 p.m. Houston Baptist then awaits the Wolverines Saturday at 1 p.m.