Red Storm Recap: Busy and successful week for DSU fall sports

It was an exciting week in Dixie State Sports. While the football team conquered Central Washington at home, the volleyball and soccer teams spent most of the time on the road against top competition in preparation for the upcoming PacWest Conference season.

FOOTBALL

Dixie State quarterback Blake Barney (5) finds some open running room and scores a touchdown, Dixie State University vs. Central Washington University, St. George, Utah, Sept. 10, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Storm quarterback Blake Barney (5), Dixie State University vs. Central Washington University, St. George, Utah, Sept. 10, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

The Dixie State football team surprised many on Thursday with its first victory of the season against Central Washington, 49-20. The Storm had a short week after being routed the previous Saturday in the season opener.

The offense set a school record with 404 yards rushing. Freshman quarterback Blake Barney got his first start and led DSU on several sustained drives. The defense also played well, forcing two fumbles, recording three sacks and seven tackles for loss. The Storm lead grew to 49-13 when backup quarterback Tyson Blackner showed his speed with a 37-yard touchdown run. The full game story can be read here.

DSU moves to 1-1 and travels to Arcata, Calif., this Saturday to take on No 25 nationally-ranked Humboldt State.

MEN’S SOCCER

The Dixie State men’s soccer team earned its first road win of the season Saturday with a 1-0 victory over NAIA opponent Biola University. It was the tale of two halves when it came to possession and control of the ball.

soccer“I was really happy with the way we played in the first half,” said Dixie head coach Josh Pittman. “But Biola came out in the second half and controlled the game. We got some good saves from (Bradley) Trella on goal.” Biola did outshoot the Red Storm in the first half 8-5. But DSU would shoot the only one that counted when defender Jason Arollo took Santiago Alejandro’s corner kick and headed home his first goal of the season in the 39th minute to give the Red Storm a 1-0 lead.

The Eagles doubled their shots in the second period but could not get one in the net. Trella had four saves to record the shutout. The Storm finished the game with just six shots, two of which were on goal, while Biola racked up 24 shots with six on goal. “Sometimes the team that plays the best does not win,” said Pittman. “I think we played the better game against San Marcos but we lost. We escaped from Biola with a win. Sometimes one play will determine the outcome of a match. That’s soccer.” The win puts the Storm at 2-1 on the young season.

DSU traveled to Pomona Tuesday but for naught as the match was cancelled due to poor field conditions related to weather. The mens and womens soccer teams will next host the first annual Southern Utah Showcase on September 19th. The men will play the pro team Real Monarchs, the farm team for Real Salt Lake. The women will play RSL’s women’s semi-pro team. Game time for the women is 5:00. The men’s game will follow at 8:00.

WOMEN’S SOCCER

The Dixie State women’s soccer team recorded its second straight shutout Sept. 8, defeating Cal State San Bernardino 1-0 to go to 2-0. It was the first time DSU started the season winning its first two games since 2008.

Both teams defended well in the first half. The match was scoreless until Storm forward Courtney Fryer passed the ball into the box from the right side to forward Lizzy Newman who slipped the ball past the Coyote goalkeeper.

dsulogoThat would prove to be enough as goalkeeper Danica Nusink recorded three saves to preserve the shutout. Overall, the Storm outshot CSUSB 11-9, with both teams getting three shots on goal. “These early road games are important,” said Dixie head coach Kacie Bingham. “It was great to come away with a win in the first one.”

Two days later Dixie State was on the short end of the 1-0 score against Humboldt State. The defense again played strong, holding the Lumberjacks scoreless in regulation. However HSU got the win in overtime when Bridget Daley recovered a loose ball on a corner kick and scored from five yards out.

Dixie State lost its third game on the road trip to Chico State 3-2. Chico State jumped out to 2-0 lead early the first half, scoring two goals in a two-minute span. The second goal came in the 21st minute.

Seven minutes later Dixie State forward Megan Marchbanks scored her first goal of the season to pull the Red Storm closer 2-1. “I don’t think we were unprepared,” said Bingham. “But Chico plays a much different style than we are used to. We struggled with their midfield setup and tight pressure. We made adjustments at halftime and played much better.”

DSU evened the match at 2-2 in the 72nd minute, when forward Jasmine Arollo scored on a free kick from 25 yards out. Chico countered twelve minutes later to go back in front. Dixie could not get a goal in the final six minutes. “Both of these losses were disappointing because we fought hard in both of them,” said Bingham. “Against Humboldt we played very well. The second loss against Chico we made some uncharacteristic errors.”

Dixie State returns to action at home on Saturday, with an exhibition match against the Real Salt Lake women’s semi-pro team in the first annual Southern Utah Showcase at 5 p.m.

VOLLEYBALL

The Dixie State volleyball team finished the week 1-3 at the GNAC/PacWest Crossover Tournament. After losing the opener against No. 19 nationally-ranked Western Washington, the Red Storm split two matches the next day. After defeating Northwest Nazarene, DSU fell to a hot Central Washington team in the midst of a five-game winning streak. The Red Storm then lost their final matchup to No 14 nationally ranked Alaska Anchorage on Saturday. “I was not too disappointed with our play,” said Dixie State head coach Robyn Felder. “We lost to top-ranked teams. And we are just not at that level yet.”

Head Coach Robyn Felder, Dixie State University Volleyball, St. George, Utah, Sept. 2, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Head Coach Robyn Felder, Dixie State University Volleyball, St. George, Utah, Sept. 2, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

In the first match against the Vikings the Storm struck early and was leading at 16-12. WWU then rallied and went on a 10-1 run to take the opening set. The Vikings used a 12-5 run in the second set to turn a 6-5 lead into an 18-10 advantage en route to a 2-0 lead in the match. The Red Storm held a late lead in the final set at 20-19 but could not maintain it and went down 25-23 in the final set.

Offensively the Red Storm had a hitting percentage of .144 for the match. Middle Blocker Makenzi Bird-Murphye and outside hitters Lindsay Jones and Delayne Daniel had seven kills apiece. Setter Kailey Frei posted a double-double with 24 assists and a team-high 13 digs.

In the first set of the second match against Northwest Nazarene Dixie State trailed early 13-5. They pulled within six twice but could not overcome the early deficit and lost the opening set. DSU would not make the same mistake in the second set and never trailed. The Red Storm used an 8-4 run late in the third set to take the win. The fourth and deciding set the Storm used a 15-5 run to turn a 15-10 NNU lead into a decisive victory, 25-20.

Daniel posted her second double-double of the season with 17 kills and 10 digs. Frei dished out 32 assists and libero Alex Anderson finished with 13 digs.

In the third match the CWU Wildcats broke a 17-17 deadlock by outscoring Dixie State 8-1 to close out the first set. The Wildcats led the majority of the second set but DSU tied the set at 24. A service error and an attack error gave CWU the victory 26-24. Dixie State seemed to have the third set in control getting to game point with a seven-point advantage, 24-17. The Wildcats clawed back in to tie it before DSU would end the match with two consecutive kills. The teams stayed close again in the fourth set battling to an 18-18 tie. CWU finished on a 7-3 run to close out the match.

Daniel recorded her third double-double of the year with a team-high 13 kills and 13 digs. Jones added 12 kills and seven total blocks, while Bird-Murphey finished with 10 kills, and Frei recorded 44 assists. “Delayne Daniel came up big for us this past weekend,” said Felder. “She recorded double-doubles in three of the four matches. She is playing at a high level.”

Against the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves Dixie State stayed close and eventually took the lead at 21-20. UAA scored the final five points though to take the first set.

Brette Anderson, Dixie State University Volleyball, St. George, Utah, Sept. 2, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Brette Anderson, Dixie State University Volleyball, St. George, Utah, Sept. 2, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

The Seawolves took a commanding 17-9 lead in the second set. Dixie State responded with a 6-1 run to pull within three, but got no closer and dropping the second set 25-18.

Both teams battled back and forth in the third set battling to a 20-20 tie. The Seawolves closed strong again scoring five of the last six points to record the 25-21 victory.

Daniel led the Storm again with her fourth double-double of the season, finishing with 12 kills and 10 assists. Frei recorded a team-high 29 assists and six digs, and Bird-Murphey led the team with three blocks to go with eight kills. Libero Talia Brown finished with a team-high 11 kills. “Talia Brown came in and helped stabilize our passing game when we needed it,” said Felder. “Makenzi Bird-Murphey was a good spark for us. She has great work ethic and also keeps our team morale high.”

“We are not at the same level as the teams we played this past weekend,” said Felder. “We need to clean up our service and passing errors. Service errors are big momentum killers while mistakes in the passing game snowballs the momentum for the opposing teams.”

The Storm open Pacific West Conference play next weekend, traveling first to Riverside, Calif. to take on California Baptist University on Friday, then heading further southwest to San Diego, Calif. to battle Point Loma Nazarene on Saturday. “These are the top two ranked teams in our conference,” said Felder. “Stealing one or both on their home floors would be big.”

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

 

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