UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | February 23, 2024

Volleyball turns game around, achieves ultimate victory

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The visiting Azusa Pacific University Cougars won the first set 25-21 over Dixie State University, but the Storm would go on to win three straight sets to claim a 3-1 victory Saturday. 

APU did not trail once and led by as much as eight points in the opening set. However, DSU drew close, pulling within two at 20-18, but APU did not give up its lead and ultimately won 25-21.

Nine DSU players had at least one kill, and nine DSU players had at least one block.

“It was a rough start,” said outside hitter Taylor Duryea, a redshirt freshman communication major from Logan. “But I think toward the end it showed who we are, (and) it showed the way we know how to fight. Our setter did a really good job of mixing things up and getting our offense involved. I am really proud of us.”

DSU led for most of the second set, briefly giving up the lead midway through at 14-15 and 18-20 but won its first set of the match 25-23. 

“We kind of struggled in the first set,” said setter Talia Brown, a sophomore psychology major from Kahuku, Hawaii. “Our coach said we have to pick up our game, and we have to pass. Once we passed, we took care of the game. The front row, our middle stepped up, our outside stepped up, and I think we did really well.”

DSU won the third set by the same score as the second, 25-23. The fourth and final set had 58 points combined between both teams, which was the most points of any other set. DSU won 30-28.

DSU finished with 48 total team kills in the match, and 14 of them came from junior outside hitter Delayne Daniel, and another 13 kills came from junior setter Kailey Frei. Frei also led DSU in nine assists, while sophomore right side hitter Brette Anderson led DSU in ten blocks. Frei recorded nine blocks.

“Our team goal is to win the conference and to get better as a team,” Duryea said. “We have a lot of new girls this year, [so] we knew we were going to have to build a lot and figure out how to mesh. That has been a huge goal for us, and I think we have done really well with that. We could throw any six girls out there and play well together. There’s not one person that we don’t trust and that we don’t want out there.”

With the win against APU, DSU improved to 7-7 overall and 4-2 in PacWest play. APU fell to 7-6 overall and 3-2 in PacWest play. DSU’s next game is Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. against Chaminade at home.