Campus Rundown: Dixie State teams take to the road with mixed results

File photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The Dixie State Athletics arenas and fields were all silent this week as the football, volleyball and soccer teams were all making noise on the road. Coach Shay McClure’s football team “shocked the RMAC” by beating first-place and nationally-ranked Colorado Mesa on Saturday. The win gave Dixie State both a winning record overall (4-3) and tied them for fourth in conference (4-2), only a half game back in the win column behind the three frontrunners.

blazerDThe volleyball team left for Hawaii squarely on top of the PacWest. A five-set win over always-tough BYU-Hawaii opened the trip, but then Coach Robyn Felder’s team lost two straight to close out the trip and return home looking up at Cal Baptist in the PacWest standings.

The men’s and women’s soccer teams wrapped up their Hawaii trips. The men’s team remains undefeated in conference and are riding a record 10-game winning streak. Coach Tim Busen’s team is not only first in the PacWest, but is a full 2 ½ games up with five games remaining over Concordia and Notre Dame de Namur. DSU will get to play both of those teams at home, where its remaining games will be played.

Coach Kacey Bingham’s women’s soccer team is also riding its own six-game winning streak. Blazers swept the Islands and outscored their opponents 12-1. They currently sit in third place in the PacWest at 6-2, ½ game back of Azusa Pacific and Point Loma, who are both sitting at 6-1-1. The women’s team also has its remaining games at home.

Below is a summary of the DSU contests played this past week:

FOOTBALL

The Dixie State football team earned its first win over a nationally-ranked opponent on Saturday, defeating No. 23 Colorado Mesa, 38-31, in comeback fashion at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction, Colo.

Dixie State at Colorado Mesa, Grand Junction, Colo., Oct. 16, 2016 | Photo courtesy CMU Athletics
Dixie State at Colorado Mesa, Grand Junction, Colo., Oct. 16, 2016 | Photo courtesy CMU Athletics

Dixie State rallied from a 17-0 deficit, overcoming back-to-back turnovers and a blocked punt, in the first quarter to clinch its first three-game winning streak in the program’s NCAA Division II era.

Dixie State racked up 465 yards of total offense in the win, including 332 yards on the ground, eclipsing the 400-yard total offense mark and the 300-yard rushing mark for the second consecutive game. Running back Clifford Simms led the way with a career-high 207 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 21 carries, marking just the second 200-yard rushing game for a DSU player since 2013. DeJon Coleman also eclipsed the century mark, finishing the game with 111 yards rushing and one touchdown on 25 carries. Quarterback Josh Thompson completed 10-of-12 passes for 133 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver Aubrey Reed led the DSU receivers with four catches for 45 yards.

Defensively, the Trailblazers allowed 391 yards of total offense. Safety Colton Olson and linebacker Noe Perez each finished with a team-high nine tackles, while defensive lineman Keanu Foki recorded five tackles and one sack. Linebacker Shiloh Pritchard, linebacker Peter Brown, and safety Jaylen Moore each finished with six tackles, while Moore recorded his first interception in a DSU uniform.

Dixie State returns to Legend Solar Stadium for a homecoming matchup with Colorado Mines on Saturday at 1 p.m.

VOLLEYBALL

Dixie State tied a program record with its 10th-straight victory and remained unbeaten in Pacific West Conference play Friday night as the Trailblazers picked up a hard-fought five-set road triumph (25-19, 23-25, 25-19, 20-25, 15-10) at BYU-Hawaii in Laie.

Senior outside hitter Delayne Daniel posted her team-high eighth double-double of the season with 15 kills and 15 digs to lead the Trailblazers, while sophomore OH Taylor Duryea collected 13 kills and seven digs. In addition, senior setter Kailey Frei recorded 43 assists on the night to become the second Trailblazer in the program’s NCAA-era to amass 2,000 career assists (2,011).

Dixie State's Jaclyn Condie (5), Dixie State University vs. Chaminade University, Volleyball, St. George, Utah, Oct. 1, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Dixie State’s Jaclyn Condie (5), Dixie State University vs. Chaminade University, Volleyball, St. George, Utah, Oct. 1, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Dixie State hit .186 for the match and collected 51 kills, while the Trailblazer defense held BYU-H to a .168 hitting percentage and forced 31 attack errors, including 13 total blocks. Senior middle blocker Lindsay Garrett led DSU with one solo block and eight block assists, while Frei added seven block assists, and sophomore libero Sidney Brandon collected a team-high 16 digs.

But Dixie State saw its winning streak halted in a four-set loss at Hawai’i Pacific Saturday night in Honolulu. DSU breezed through the first set by a 25-14 count, but the Sharks won the next three (25-20, 25-22, 25-19) en route to the match victory.

Daniel recorded her team-high ninth double-double of the season with 14 kills and 12 digs, while Duryea collected nine kills with five digs and three block assists, and Garrett finished with seven kills and two block assists. Dixie State posted a .435 hitting percentage in the opening set, but was held below .200 in each of the following three sets to finish with a .206 percentage.

Dixie State dropped the final match of its three-match Hawaiian road trip in a four-set loss at Hawai’i Hilo in Pacific West Conference play Monday night. DSU lost a hard-fought first set by a 27-25 count before rebounding to square the match at a set apiece by claiming a 25-21 win in set two. However, the Vulcans came back to take sets three (25-20) and four (25-16) en route to the match victory.

DSU lost despite a career-high 17 kills from Garrett, while Daniel recorded her team-best 10th double-double of the season with 10 kills and 13 digs, and senior setter Frei registered her third double-double of the year with 41 assists and 14 digs.

DSU was held to a PacWest season-low .112 hitting percentage, though the Trailblazers’ defense kept the team in the match as the unit limited the Vulcans to a .175 percentage thanks to seven total blocks and 83 digs, including 20 digs from Brandon and 15 from Jaclyn Condie.

Dixie State returns home to the DSU SAC later this week for two key PacWest matches against teams directly above the Trailblazers in the PacWest standings. DSU opens in the brief homestand on Homecoming Saturday vs. first-place California Baptist at 6 p.m., and will quickly turnaround to face second-place Concordia-Irvine in a rare Sunday tilt at noon.

MEN’S SOCCER

Dixie State beat Hawai’i Hilo Thursday by the score of 3-0.

DSU opened the scoring just before the halftime whistle when forward Moises Medina played a ball from Gustavo Ortega and netted his eventual team-leading fourth game-winning goal to stake the Trailblazers a 1-0 lead at the intermission.

Dixie State's Christian Hall (34), Dixie State University vs. Northwest Nazarene University, Mens Soccer, St. George, Utah, Sept. 17, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Dixie State’s Christian Hall (34), Dixie State University vs. Northwest Nazarene University, Mens Soccer, St. George, Utah, Sept. 17, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Dixie State would tack on two more goals in the second half, the first coming off the boot of midfielder Sean Jenne (3), who took a pass from Blake Damato from the top of the box and scored his second in goal in as many matches midway through the 51st-minute. Then Medina put the match away early in the 68th-minute when he went top-shelf for his team-high fifth goal of the year to give the Trailblazers a three-goal cushion.

The DSU defense held the Vulcans to six total shots, five on frame, while Trailblazer keepers Zach Nielson and Eddie Ortiz combined for five saves as Dixie State posted its third-straight shutout victory and sixth of the season overall. DSU finished with a season-high 27 shot attempts, including 12 on goal.

Dixie State tied a program record for wins and extended its program-record winning streak to 10-straight matches with a 4-1 result at Chaminade Saturday in Honolulu. With the win, the Trailblazers clinched a sweep of their four-match Hawaiian road swing to improve to 10-3-0 overall, while DSU remained unbeaten and atop the Pacific West Conference table at 8-0-0.

Dixie State got on the board midway through the 16th-minute when Bryan Baugh played a powerful throw-in to Hunter Ketterer who booted home his first goal of the year to give the Trailblazers a quick 1-0 lead. Moises Medina struck 15 minutes later when he tallied his team-leading sixth goal of the year from 25-yards out to give DSU a two-goal advantage heading into the intermission.

The Trailblazers tacked on two second-half goals to extend the lead to 4-0. Ather Dawood netted his fourth goal of the season in the 60th-minute thanks to a two-touch play-in from Moises Medina and Gabby Medina, while Christian Hall closed DSU’s scoring in the 74th-minute with his fourth tally of the year, which came on a through ball played in by Jandir Porta.

Chaminade got one of the goals back just 22 seconds later, but that would be as close as the Silverswords would get as DSU kept Chaminade off the board over the final 15-plus minutes of play to seal away the victory.

Dixie State outshot Chaminade 21-6, including a decisive 11-5 edge on goal. Nielson picked up his fourth win of the Hawaii trip as he made four saves in just under 58 minutes of play.

DSU’s 10 victories in 2016 matches the program’s record-setting win total from last season, while the Trailblazers broke the record for road victories as DSU closed their 2016 road slate with a 6-3-0 overall mark.

Dixie State will close the 2016 regular season with five-straight PacWest home matches, beginning with a date vs. Academy of Art on DSU’s Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 22, at 5:30 p.m., at Legend Solar Stadium.

WOMEN’S SOCCER

Dixie State extended its season-best winning streak to five matches as the Trailblazers posted a 2-0 triumph at Hawai’i Hilo Thursday.

Dixie State got on the board with 3:13 to play in the opening half when Capri Goldsmith played a ball to Alexis Torres, who blasted a shot from the left wing past the Vulcan goalkeeper across to the right corner of the net to stake DSU to a 1-0 advantage.

Dixie State held the one-goal lead until the 78:36 mark of the match when defender Montana Hadley converted on a penalty kick attempt for her first score of the season to push the lead to 2-0. DSU, which surrendered only six Hawai’i Hilo (2-5-3/0-4-3 PacWest) shot attempts, kept the Vulcans at bay the rest of the way to notch its third win on the team’s Hawaiian trip.

Angelica Ciucci
Angelica Ciucci

Dixie State finished with 16 shots, eight on goal, with Torres accounting for three of the Trailblazers’ shots on frame. Goalie Angelica Ciucci made three saves in posting her second shutout win of the year.

On Saturday Dixie State used a season-high five goals as the Trailblazers blitzed Chaminade in Honolulu.

Senior forward Megan Spencer netted a pair of first half goals to give Dixie State a 2-0 halftime lead. Spencer struck first late in the 18th-minute to get the Trailblazers on the board, then recorded her fourth goal of the season nearly 15 minutes later as she played a rebound off the Silverswords goalkeeper and tucked home the ball to spot DSU a two-goal advantage.

Dixie State would tack on three second half goals, the first coming off the boot of Torres at the 53rd-minute mark, which was her second in as many matches and third of the season. Darian McCloy followed suit with her PacWest-leading 10th goal of the year in the 63rd-minute, and Shelby Christensen netted her first collegiate goal with just 1:24 remaining in the match to complete DSU’s offensive effort.

Dixie State outshot Chaminade 23-6, including a 14-2 edge on goal. Ciucci played a scoreless first half with one save to pick up her fifth win in goal, reserve goalie Felicity Tarr stopped the only shot she faced on frame in the second stanza.

Dixie State will close the 2016 regular season with five-straight PacWest home matches, beginning with a date vs. Academy of Art on DSU’s Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m., at Legend Solar Stadium.

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