UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | January 27, 2023

DSU volleyball suffers first conference defeat

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The Dixie State University volleyball team suffered its first Pacific West Conference loss 3-1 to Azusa Pacific University Saturday.

After winning the first game, the Red Storm dropped the next three. This loss is only the fourth for DSU this season with a 9-4 record.

The Red Storm won the first game 25-22 after taking an early lead and finishing strong.

“We got in control early,” head coach Robyn Felder said. “We just kept that lead during the whole game.”

DSU never led in the 25-19 loss in game two.

“In the first game, we stayed consistently up,” said setter Shelby Sorensen, a sophomore nursing major from Lehi. “We didn’t let them get on big runs, our energy level was up and we just finished the game.”

The Red Storm fell behind early in game three, giving APU a 21-12 lead before putting together a comeback behind the serves of Sorensen. DSU got within two points at 21-19 before the Cougars finished the game with a final score of 25-21.

“There were moments of greatness and then moments where we just checked out mentally,” Felder said. “It was definitely our inability to make the adjustments in the game.”

The Red Storm seemed to have made adjustments in game four as they led the game from a 7-7 tie until the Cougars made a seven-point comeback to tie the game at 24. The teams rallied until Azusa Pacific finished the comeback with a 28-26 win.

“In the fourth game, we totally had control and momentum,” Felder said. “We took our foot off the gas and got a little bit of nerves and couldn’t pull ourselves out of it.”

Junior outside hitter Maddie Rex led the team with 17 kills. Senior outside hitter Shannon Young recorded two aces on 12 serves without any errors.

“We just need to let this game go,” Sorensen said. “We need to get our momentum and energy back and push through to this weekend.”

Dixie State is now looking forward to a California road trip of three games in three nights.

The Red Storm will face California Baptist University Thursday, Point Loma Nazarene University Friday, and a rematch with Azusa Pacific University Saturday.

“Every one of (these three teams) is a top five team,” Felder said. “So we need to just fine tune a few things. Mentally iwe need to be there all week long if we are going to come out with some wins there because those teams are strong, and they don’t make a lot of mistakes.”