Oct. 29, 2011
OREM, Utah -- Eight Wolverines registered multiple kills as Utah Valley picked up its eighth Great West Conference win in a three-set victory over Texas-Pan American (25-13, 25-12, 25-19). Jaicee Kuresa and Sarah Clement led the way with eight kills apiece while Brookelyn Campbell spread around a match-high 32 assists.
"I'm happy with the way that the girls played," said UVU head volleyball coach Sam Atoa. "I felt they did a nice job overall executing our game plan and it was nice to be able to get so many players into the game."
After grinding to a 5-5 tie early in the first set, UVU (19-7, 8-1 GWC) found its rhythm when a Kuresa kill sparked what would become a 14-3 Wolverine run, giving the Wolverines a 19-8 advantage over UTPA (7-20, 1-6 GWC). Kuresa and Campbell each registered three kills in the sequence, while Chelsey Heaps added two. A service ace from McKenna Tait and a kill from Erica Nish rounded out the set for the Wolverines, as they cruised to a 25-13 win.
With a modest 7-6 lead early on in the second set, UVU pieced together another furious rally to capture the frame. Back-to-back-to-back kills from Nish, Lindsay Barker, and Erin Jolley gave the Wolverines an 11-6 lead, then a service ace from Tait, two kills from Kuresa, and another from Clement capped the closing 6-1 run that gave UVU the set, 25-12.
UVU's aggressive and efficient attacking was the story through the first two sets as the Wolverines outhit the Broncs .360 to -.138 in the first set, while posting a whopping .636 attack percentage to UTPA's .160 in the second. For the match, UVU had six players hit above .300--a product Atoa attributes to his team's effective passing and serving throughout the match.
"Our serve and pass game is something we have been wanting to continue improving, and we served tough today. Those things really help us to be able to control the net."
A back-and-forth start to the third set saw the score knotted at 13-all before UVU made its move. The Wolverines finally separated themselves from the determined Broncs after a Campbell kill made the score 16-13. UVU wouldn't look back from there, closing the match on a 12-6 run, highlighted by a pair of kills from Katie Fritzler and another from Cassie Wahlin, to grab 25-19 third set win.
Now entering its bye week in GWC play, the Wolverines begin a three-game, non-conference stretch beginning with a 7 p.m. contest at Boise State Tuesday night. From there, UVU will host Utah State and Southern Utah before playing its final game of the season on Nov. 11, in a GWC title-deciding matchup with North Dakota.
"These non-conference matches will be great, competitive matches for us," said Atoa of the GWC break. "We're excited to be able to play two of them at home and it's really important to us to close out the year on a high note."