UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | January 26, 2023

Storm rally in regionals

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The Dixie State University volleyball team, the eighth seed, fell in the NCAA Division II Volleyball Tournament to Sonoma State University on Nov. 22, but not without a Storm of a season.

The Storm ended their season 22-9 overall and 17-3 in conference.

Dixie made it to the championship match during the tournament, winning two matches out of the three played in three days.    

The Storm marked the end of their journey with their loss in the West Regional Final match to Sonoma State.

The Storm had a tight first three sets, winning the third one, but fell in the fourth set to lose 3-1 to SSU (18-25, 23-25, 31-29, 11-25).

Senior middle Nicole Koehler had 11 kills with junior right side Kendahl Weiland leading the team with four blocks.

“It was a Cinderella season, but really, these girls fought, worked and sweat for every point,” head coach Robyn Felder said. “We were able to come together as a team when it mattered. We stepped up to the plate and were able to finish teams that we hadn’t earlier.”

Felder said this season is one that will not be forgotten.

“We never thought of ourselves as the underdog; we knew we were peaking at the right time,” said Koehler, a senior communication major from Sandy. “It was a blast to beat out the two top-10 ranked teams.”

The Storm pulled two upsets in the tournament and were honored after the game as No. 2 in the region.

The Storm pulled its last upset in the tournament over Brigham Young University-Hawaii to advance to the West Regional Final.

DSU had its third matchup of the season against BYU-H to pull its first victory against the Seasiders this season. The Storm beat the ‘Siders 3-1, (25-19, 25-16, 15-25, 25-19).

“Playing BYU-H for the third time this season was revenge,” Felder said. “The girls went into this match with so much emotion and would not be stopped. That was the feeling in the locker room … [We] were winning.”

Koehler said the Storm knew they should have beaten BYU-H at home. She said if the Storm got on them quick and didn’t back down, Dixie would win.

DSU had its first upset Nov. 20 against the No. 1 seed Northwest Nazarene University. The Storm beat NNU in four sets, (25-15, 25-23, 20-25, 25-20).

“[That] weekend was just magical,” Felder said. “Beating NNU on their home court, with 1200 fans screaming, was unheard of. Not to mention they were the No. 1 seed and No. 10 in the nation.”

Weiland led the team with 18 kills followed by sophomore middle Lindsey Jones with 16 kills. The team averaged 62 kills and 82 points.