Dixie State volleyball ends season with second straight win

File photo of Dixie State University vs. Point Loma University, Volleyball,St. George, Utah, Nov. 19, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Dixie State finished the 2016 season with a home win against Point Loma in four sets Saturday afternoon at the Student Activities Center, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 25-20.

With the match tied 1-1, the Dixie State volleyball team was looking at a five-point deficit in the third set and to that point, had lost a majority of the long rallies to visiting Point Loma Nazarene. On the Sea Lions’ next serve, both teams again went back and forth. This time, however, Delayne Daniel ended the point with an emphatic kill.

blazerD“That kill seemed like a turning point,” said Dixie State head coach Robyn Felder. “They had been keying on Delayne all match, putting two blockers against her. She had been frustrated up to that point. From then on, the momentum changed. I love it when Delayne plays with that swagger.”

Through the opening three sets the Trailblazers were relying on the middle attacks of Lindsay Garrett. Garrett had an incredible .517 attack percentage through the first three sets.

Dixie State's Delayne Daniel (2), Dixie State University vs. Point Loma University, Volleyball,St. George, Utah, Nov. 19, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Dixie State’s Delayne Daniel (2), Dixie State University vs. Point Loma University, Volleyball,St. George, Utah, Nov. 19, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“Really, all our seniors stepped up today,” said Felder. “Lindsay is still not 100 percent on her ankle. But she knew she would have to step up with their blockers keying on our outsides.”

In the first set, DSU jumped out to a quick 10-4 lead behind good service of Megan Huddleston. Point Loma clawed back to within one at 12-11. DSU would hold the lead but the Sea Lions kept within two or three until an attack error led to a DSU 23-19 lead. The teams then traded points and DSU finished set one on a kill by Malary Marshall.

In set two, it was the Sea Lions with the quick start, going up 10-5 and then 13-6. The Sea Lions maintained that 5-7-point lead until DSU went on a 5-1 run late in the set to pull within 24-22. Garrett had two kills during the run. But PLNU was able to finish and pull even to 1-1.

In set three, Daniel’s kill instigated an 8-3 run that tied the score at 17. Two kills apiece from Garrett and Taylor Duryea fueled the run. After PLNU took a 20-19 lead, the Trailblazers scored five straight, this time with Marshall and Daniel getting two kills apiece. Marshall ended the set with a defensive block to put the Blazers up 2-1.

Dixie State University vs. Point Loma University, Volleyball,St. George, Utah, Nov. 19, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Dixie State University vs. Point Loma University, Volleyball,St. George, Utah, Nov. 19, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“You could feel the momentum shift,” said Dixie setter Kailey Frei. “When you win those long rallies, it gives you a bump. It seemed from that point that our passing was more crisp and everyone played better.”

In the fourth, DSU would lead by a slim margin and keep that margin throughout. The Blazers stretched the lead to five, 20-15, on a PLNU attack error. The Sea Lions closed the gap to three at 21-18. Two straight kills by Daniel gave Dixie its largest lead late at 24-18. Daniel would end the match with another kill.

Daniel led the team with 17 kills. Garrett and Marshall had 16 and 10, respectively. Kailey Frei had 49 assists for the game. Garrett led the team with four blocks. Libero Sidney Brandon had 30 digs. Daniel also had double-digit digs with 15.

“I told the girls we finished strong, winning our final two games and we ended the season in third place,” said Felder. “It is a disappointment with our recent success, but finishing third out of 14 teams is still quite an accomplishment.”

The Trailblazers finished the year 17-11 overall and 13-7 in the PacWest.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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