Fans rally behind Utah Tech volleyball team despite loss

The women’s volleyball team was defeated by CBU Sept. 21. Despite the defeat, they played with coordination and encouraged one another throughout the game. Cora Mark | Sun News Daily

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The Utah Tech University women’s volleyball team faced off against California Baptist University and ultimately fell short of victory.

The team started out their conference play with a loss to CBU at home losing 0-3. The Trailblazers battled with the Lancers in the first set, fighting back and forth. Both teams were making plays and showcasing their talents and competitive spirits. The first set ended in favor of CBU 23-25.

Kate Hardy, a senior dental hygiene major from Fruitland, Idaho, said it’s hard to come back from a set when trailing, but it’s not impossible.

“I think the biggest thing is just to stay calm and not let your mind get too frantic because when that happens, then that’s when errors occur,” Hardy said.

As the second set commenced, Utah Tech aimed to regain their footing and even the score.

The home crowd continued to show unwavering support, bursting into an uproar whenever the Trailblazers scored. Even with the crowd on their side, Utah Tech came up short in the second set with a score of 19-25.

Taylor Snow, a sophomore criminal justice major from Salem, said there is pressure that comes with playing at home and in front of a crowd that is cheering you on. 

“I think it made us a little nervous tonight,” Snow said. “We have some younger players who aren’t used to the crowds, so it’s hard. Usually, we love having a crowd.”

With a 2-0 deficit, the Utah Tech women’s volleyball team faced an uphill battle in the third set. Utah Tech, to their credit, demonstrated resilience and tenacity, fighting hard to secure a comeback. However, despite their efforts, CBU won the set 25-20. 

Despite the loss, there were a few players who had an outstanding game. Kennedi Knudsen led the team with 16 kills, and Taela Laufiso led the team with 32 assists. 

Emma Ricks, a senior exercise science major from Alpine, said each player will watch the game film of themselves to critique their performance and figure out what they struggled with during the game. 

“At the end of the day, we also have to move on, because we can’t change the past,” Ricks said. “Oftentimes, we’ll start looking forward to the next team and find ways to beat them.”

The Trailblazers will move to 4-7 on the year and 0-1 in conference play. They are set to face off against the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, Texas, Sept. 30.