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UVU Notebook: Women’s volleyball takes down Idaho State

By Daily Herald - | Sep 17, 2021

Utah Valley women’s volleyball defeated Idaho State, 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 25-27, 25-15) in Lockhart Arena, extending its win streak to four-straight matches. With the win, UVU improves to 5-5 on the season as the Bengals fall to 4-7 on the year.

“We keep talking about our control and our urgency,” said Utah Valley head volleyball coach Sam Atoa. “I really liked what we did, especially being able to come back in that fourth set after dropping a set. We had other kids playing that don’t always have the chance to get on the court and they were able to stick to the system and the plan that we had and it allowed us to be successful.”

The Bengals took an early 5-3 lead in Set 4 but Makayla Pollard and the Wolverines went on an 8-2 run to retake the lead, 11-7. After three-straight points by ISU, Jules Fink and Kalea Kennedy led a dominating 11-1 run, aided by a pair of aces by Abbie Vincent, to extend the lead to 22-11. The Bengals made a final push, scoring four-straight points, but Bryton Bishop put a stop to the run and an ace by Natalie Palmer ended the set, 25-15, giving the Wolverines the win, 3-1.

Fink led the Wolverines, finishing with 13 kills and tied a career-high with six blocks. Kennedy set career highs with 12 points on 11 kills and an ace while Kendra Nock added seven kills and a team-high seven blocks. Abbie Miller finished with 32 assists, her third game this season with 30 or more assists, and Palmer chipped in 12 assists and three aces. Bishop led the Utah Valley backline with a game-high 23 digs.

“When we take care of the ball, there are good things that we do,” said Atoa. “When we don’t, we struggle and have unforced errors. Our approach is to take care of things on our side. We will know and have an idea of what the other team will do, whether it’s BYU or Idaho State, but if we are able to take control of our game, our service game, and our passing, we will do great.”

The Wolverines wraps up its nonconference season with the UCCU Crosstown Clash against in-state rival No. 15 BYU at home on Saturday. The match will be in Lockhart Arena at 6:00 p.m. MT. Utah Valley then begins WAC play with home matches against New Mexico State on Thursday, Sep. 23 and Grand Canyon on Saturday, Sep. 25. Both matches will be in Lockhart Arena with Thursday’s match starting at 6:00 p.m. MT and Saturday’s contest beginning at 1:00 p.m. MT.

Women’s soccer falls at Oklahoma

Utah Valley’s comeback came up short in a 4-2 road loss to Oklahoma on Thursday night at John Crain Field in Norman, Oklahoma.

“We came out super flat for the first 45 minutes and against a decent team you can’t only play half the game,” said Utah Valley head coach Chris Lemay. “We were chasing the game at the end down 3-2 and we changed systems and they caught us on a counter to make it 4-2. We did not put together a 90-minute performance and therefore deserved to lose.”

Oklahoma scored a pair of goals in the 29th minute to jump out to a 2-0 lead. Utah Valley was fouled in the box in the 36th minute and was awarded a penalty kick. Heather Stainbrook fired in the PK past the Oklahoma keeper to pull the Wolverines to within one goal, 2-1.

The Wolverines scored the equalizer after Sadie Brockbank passed the ball out to Nicole Ray on the left side of the box in the 64th minute. Ray then fired a shot with her left foot up and over the Oklahoma keeper for the score, tying the game at 2-2.

The Sooners scored the go-ahead goal in the 74th minute after a shot by Olivia Odle deflected off the head of a UVU defender and into the net to give Oklahoma a 3-2 advantage. OU then scored again in the 88th minute to secure the 4-2 win.

Oklahoma outshot Utah Valley 23-8 on the night, including an 11-4 advantage on frame.

Brooklyn Nielsen led the Wolverines in the box with a season-high seven saves.

Utah Valley will continue road play as the team travels to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to play the University of Alabama on Sunday at noon (MT). The game will be broadcast live on ESPN+.

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