Red Storm Recap: DSU spikers win again, crack rankings

ST. GEORGE – This week in Dixie State sports saw the football team lose a close game to conference leader Azusa Pacific. The volleyball team won both of its matches and made history ranking in the top ten in the Region. The basketball teams both began their seasons this week. Here’s the recap:

Dixie State lost for the second time this season on a late-game field goal, this time against Azusa Pacific University. Dixie State saw a two-game win streak snapped to fall to 4-6 on the season and 4-5 in the GNAC despite not dsulogotrailing until the 2:39 mark of the fourth quarter. Azusa Pacific narrowly out-gained the Storm 414-399 overall. The APU advantage was on the ground at 143-136 and through the air it ended 271-263. Griff Robles was 19-of-32 on the night for 263 yards. He tossed three touchdowns and ran for 74 yards on 17 carries. Davis rushed for 59 yards on 12 carries. Frei made six overall grabs for 86 yards. Junior safety Justin Ence recorded a career-high 12 tackles and Jake Duncan added nine stops. Dixie State closes the 2013 season today at 6 p.m. against Central Washington at Hansen Stadium. Prior to the game, the Red Storm will honor the senior class with an on-field celebration.

DeQuan Thompson and Zach Robbins each had 18 points while five total players scored in double figures on Friday afternoon as Dixie State defeated Central Washington 106-89 during first day action of the Sodexo Tip-off Classic hosted by Seattle Pacific. The Red Storm hit the 100-point mark, for only the seventh time under Judkins. Jordan Rex led Dixie State with nine rebounds while Kimball Payne dished off seven assists to just two turnovers. Dixie State made 34-of-59 shots on the night (57.6 percent), 9-of-17 from distance (52.9%) and 29-of-36 from the charity stripe (80.6%). The Wildcats were held to 41.7-percent for the game (30-72). DSU won the battle of the boards, 42-29. The Red Storm continues play at the Sodexo Tip-off Classic on Saturday at 7 p.m. against the second-ranked team in the nation and the tournament host, Seattle Pacific.

The Dixie State women’s basketball team dropped its regular season opener at California State University Monterey Bay 98-70 in Seaside, Calif. Leading the way for the Red Storm (0-1) was Haley Holmstead with 25 points and nine rebounds. Holmstead shot 7-21 from the field and 11-13 from the free throw line. Kaylah Miller added 14 points, 12-18 from the free throw line. Shooting in the first half was what put the Red Storm behind the proverbial eight ball. DSU connected on just 4 of 23 (17.4%) from the field, 0-5 from the line, but hit 20-28 (71.4) free throws. They trailed 61-28 at the intermission. In the second half, the Red Storm found its stroke by shooting 14-34 (41.2%) to help them outscore the Otters 42-37. Dixie State will have two weeks before they play at CSU Los Angeles on Nov. 23 at 2 p.m.

Maddie Rex paced the Dixie State volleyball team with 19 kills to a come from behind five set victory over Hawaii Pacific, winning 25-13, 22-25, 22-25, 25-19, 15-12 in a Pacific West Conference battle Saturday at the Student Activities Center. Three other Red Storm players had double digit kills to help DSU mount the comeback. The momentum continued into the fifth frame as DSU jumped out to a 4-0 lead, only to see HPU battle back and tie the match at 10-10. Enter Rex who would follow with three of the last five points of the match and Kara Cotter and Shannon Young each found the floor to give DSU the come from behind 15-12 victory over the Seawarriors. Dixie State finished the match by hitting .269 to the Seawarriors .160. Young had 12 kills, Nicole Koehler and Makenzi Bird each finished with 10 kills. Shelby Sorensen added 55 assists and Alex Anderson led with 22 digs.

On Monday night, looking to keep pace with the leaders in the Pacific West Conference, Young led the Red Storm to an easy 25-20, 25-16, 25-13 victory over Chaminade in the Student Activities Center. Young had 12 kills in 17 attempts and hit. 588 for the match, she also added six digs and two block assists in the victory. DSU outhit the Silverswords .319 to .071 for the match, including eight team blocks to six blocks for CUH. Koehler, Kendahl Weiland, and Bird each added seven kills. Sorenson led DSU with 32 assist and Anderson added 11 digs.

Having won nine of their last 10 games, the Dixie State University volleyball team made program history by debuting at No. 9 in the second version of the 2013 NCAA Division II West Region poll. The Red Storm, 17-8 overall and 14-5 in the Pacific West Conference play, make its initial appearance after winning four consecutive matches. Two of those wins have come against No. 7 ranked California Baptist and Hawaii Pacific.

This week’s regional ranking, the second of three official regional polls to be released prior to the post-season tournament selections on Nov. 24, remains identical in the first four positions in the poll. UC San Diego, BYU-Hawaii, Cal State San Bernardino, and Sonoma State maintained their positions in the top four spots, while the highest-ranked of four GNAC schools in the top 10, Western Washington University, moved from sixth to fifth. Central Washington followed suit in climbing from seventh to sixth, followed in the poll by California Baptist University and the GNAC member Alaska Anchorage. Dixie State follows at ninth and Northwest Nazarene at 10th in this week’s poll.

DSU is aiming for its first appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament in program history. The top eight teams in the region, assuming conference champions from the GNAC, California Collegiate Athletic Association, and Pacific West Conference are among the top eight, will qualify for the regional tournament that will be held Dec. 5-7 at a site to be determined.

The Red Storm close out its regular season Saturday against Point Loma, who is in second place in the PWC but is ineligible for postseason during their transition period to the NCAA. First serve is scheduled for 12 p.m. in the Student Activities Center.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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