AZUSA, Calif. – The Dixie State volleyball team is in a downward spiral, having lost its last three matches and seven of its last 10, including Saturday night’s five-setter to Azusa Pacific.
During the slide, the Trailblazers have fallen from the top of the PacWest to fifth place. DSU lost to Azusa Pacific in five sets tonight on the road 16-25, 26-24, 25-16, 22-25, 15-11.
The Trailblazers opened up a close first set with a 9-1 run behind the services of Megan Huddleston and Taylor Duryea. The run widened a 13-11 lead to 22-12. Delayne Daniel had two kills and a block during the run. After trading sideouts for the next few points, Brette Anderson closed out the set with a kill.
In the second set, DSU fell behind early 13-6. The Blazers rallied somewhat, but the Cougars kept a 4-5 point lead till late in the match. A service error gave APU a 23-18 lead. Dixie State went on a 6-1 run to knot the score at 24. Two straight kills gave APU the victory and tied the match at one set apiece.
The third set saw both teams stay close with neither taking more than a three-point advantage. An attack error by the Cougars brought DSU to within one, 14-13. After a sideout by APU, however, the Blazers had four consecutive attack errors, giving Azusa a 19-13 lead. The closest DSU would get was 21-16 a few points later, but APU closed out the set on a 4-0 run to take a 2-1 advantage.
After the teams started the fourth set even at 4-4, APU put together a 7-0 run. DSU steadily came back and finally tied the match at 16-16 on a service ace by Duryea. Azusa scored the next three, but DSU clawed back again. The Blazers would score five straight to take a 24-21 lead. Kills from Duryea, Anderson and Malary Marshall contributed to the run. After a sideout, Duryea ended the set with a kill to tie the match 2-2.
The fifth set again had a crucial run by the Cougars to ice the game. After DSU took a 5-3 lead on a kill by Lindsay Garrett, the Cougars rattled off nine straight points to lead 12-5. The lead turned out to be insurmountable as Azusa Pacific would close out the set and win the match with a 15-11 score.
Dixie State limited APU to .131 attack percentage, but only managed a .104 percentage on offense.
Individually, Delayne Daniel led the team with 14 kills. Duryea and Garrett had 11 and 10, respectively. Kailey Frei led the tam with 45 assists. Libero Sidney Brandon had 24 digs. Daniel came in just behind with 20 digs.
The Blazers fall to 15-11 overall and 11-7 in the PacWest. They will return home for their final two matches of the season. They host BYU-Hawaii on Monday at 6 p.m.
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