The Dixie State University volleyball team officially opened its 2016 season by winning two of its first three matches at the Crystal Inn Volleyball Invitational tournament hosted by DSU.
The first match of 2016 went well for the Trailblazers as they swept Black Hills State University.
The opening set saw the Trailblazers take the lead early and never relinquish it as DSU went on to win 25-17.
The second set followed suit as DSU opened up with a 7-0 advantage. It continued to build momentum from there and convincingly won the second set 25-15.
The third set proved to be the closest of the match. Both teams were tied 13-13 midway through the set, but after a back and forth battle DSU was able to hold on for a hard fought 25-22 win and a subsequent sweep of the Yellow Jackets of BHSU.
“We had a pretty solid first game,” head coach Robyn Felder said. “There were big highs and big lows, but I felt like we served and passed really well.”
In the second match of the tournament, the DSU volleyball team lost a five game heartbreaker to Northwest Nazarene University.
The NNU Crusaders started the match with a 26-28 win over DSU. The Trailblazers rallied, winning the next two sets in a row 25-22 and 25-18.
NNU took the fourth set decisively 14-25 to force a pivotal fifth and final set. Down most of the final frame, DSU rallied to tie it at 11-11 before finally falling 12-15.
“I think we played hard, but we just didn’t execute very well,” Felder said. “We just need to reset and get back to doing what we do well.”
After regrouping from following the tough loss to NNU, the Trailblazers came out strong in its final game of the tournament. DSU took the first two sets rather convincingly, 25-14 and 25-18. The third set proved to be a close battle, but DSU pulled it out 25-23 in the end.
“I think we did a lot of good things, but we also did a lot of bad things,” said junior right-hitter Brette Anderson, a business major from Prescott, Arizona. “We worked really hard and hustled, but we weren’t able to execute like we wanted to.”
After winning the Pacific West Conference title for the first time in school history last season, execution and consistency will be key for a repeat.
“We have a lot of room to improve,” said junior libero Jaclyn Condie, an exercise science major from Cottonwood Heights. “We’re going to take what we learned this weekend and [build on it.]”
The Trailblazers next game is Thursday against Western Washington University at 3 p.m. in California.