Wolverines top Chicago State for fourth consecutive win

WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM Junior outside hitter Kalani Norris had 12 kills and a career-high seven blocks in the win.
Junior outside hitter Kalani Norris had 12 kills and a career-high seven blocks in the win.

Nov. 4, 2013

Box Score

CHICAGO - The Utah Valley University volleyball team concluded its Midwest road trip on Monday night with its second win in three nights by defeating Chicago State, 3-1, in the Windy City (19-25, 25-14, 25-12, 25-17). The win marked the Wolverines' fourth in a row, as they remain in second place in the WAC standings with a 10-3 conference record.

"Unfortunately, I felt like we kind of got a little complaisant tonight," head coach Sam Atoa said. "However, the girls responded well after losing that first set and really managed to take control in the final three sets. This is just one of those things that everyone has to learn and I was pleased that the girls managed to respond and get better as the match went on."

The reigning WAC Player of the Week Brookelyn Hall led UVU (17-12) with 36 assists, 15 digs, five blocks and four kills for her team-leading eighth double-double of the season. Lauren Stringham also had a big match for the Wolverines as she recorded 10 kills and a match-high nine blocks, while Kalani Norris and Cassie Wahlin led the way in kills with 12 apiece. Norris also notched a career-high seven blocks in the contest.

"As a team, we were able to put together what we needed to do," Atoa added. "This was a team effort. We needed everybody to pick it up and they did."

After dropping their first-ever set to Chicago State in 14 matches, the Wolverines responded by winning the next three games to hand the ninth-place Cougars (2-25, 0-12 WAC) their 17th straight defeat.

In the second set, Utah Valley bounced back by scoring eight of the first nine points to jump out to an 8-1 lead. The Wolverines never relinquished their lead the rest of the way as they took the frame by 11 points. Wahlin led the way with five kills in the set while Stringham added four. As a team, UVU outhit the Cougars .290 to -.029.



The Wolverines then maintained the upper hand in the third set as took the frame by 13 points to take a 2-1 advantage. UVU took a quick 12-3 advantage and didn't look back as it pulled ahead by as many as 14 points down the stretch. Norris paced the Wolverines with four kills in the set.

In a more competitive fourth and final frame, UVU took a 15-10 advantage following back-to-back kills from Wahlin and Nakisha Willden. The Cougars later cut it to three, at 18-15, but Utah Valley used a 5-0 run to take a commanding late 23-15 advantage. The Wolverines then put the match away a couple of points later on a kill from Katie Fritzler.

In the opening set, CSU scored the first seven points to jump out to a 7-0 advantage. The Wolverines then managed to come all the way back and tie the score at 12-all, but the Cougars quickly regained the momentum as they took the first set by six points.

As a team, UVU recorded seven more total team blocks than the Cougars (14-7) as well as outhit them, .200 to .044.

Paula Sioto led Chicago State with a match-high 16 kills while Julia Menhart chipped in a match-best 29 digs.

The Wolverines will now return for their final two home matches of the regular season. UVU will first welcome Grand Canyon to the PE Building for the first time in program history on Thursday before concluding its home season against Bakersfield the following Saturday (Nov. 16).

"Being able to win both of these matches on the road this weekend was good for us," added Atoa. "But it's always good to come home and we're looking forward to hosting Grand Canyon on Thursday."