SEATTLE, Wash. – The Dixie State volleyball team split four matches in the Seattle Pacific Tourney this weekend. After losing 3-0 to Cal State-Los Angeles, the Red Storm bounced back with 3-0 wins over CSU-Chico and Cal Poly-Pomona before dropping the final match to host Seattle Pacific 3-1.
In the opener, Cal State LA beat the Red Storm in short order, scoring 25-15, 25-11 and 25-17.
DSU setter Shelby Sorenseon agreed.
“Our first game was a combination of jitters and failing to respond when pressed,” said Sorenson. “We rebounded well the second game and carried that momentum into this morning against Cal-Poly.”
The Red Storm hit at a solid .362 percent in the second match against Chico, a big improvement over the day’s earlier match. Dixie State dominated the first set over Chico State, winning 25-11. The showed good response to pressure in the second set by coming back from down 20-13. Dixie tied the match at 22-22 behind strong play at the net and a 9-2 run. The Red Storm finished the comeback on Alex Anderson’s ace to win it 26-24 and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Red Storm took control in the third set, jumping out to an 11-7 lead. Dixie never lost the lead and cruised to a 25-20 victory.
Nicole Koehler led the match with 12 kills, hitting at a .800 clip. Kendahl Weiland logged nine kills and newcomer Edithza Urias posted eight of her own.
On day two of the Seattle Pacific Volleyball Tournament, the Red Storm continued its stellar play from the preceding match beating Cal Poly Pomona 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-20). They were unable to sustain the momentum in the evening finale against the home team losing to Seattle Pacific 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 20-25, 17-25).
“In the first game of the morning match Cal-Poly jumped out early,” said Felder. “We were able to claw back and keep within striking distance, then we scored the final five points of the game. That momentum carried over into the other games and we swept a good team.”
“Momentum is so important in volleyball,” said DSU middle hitter Makenzi Bird. “Against Seattle Pacific we won the first game. Then the momentum shifted in their direction and we were unable to get it back. We need to respond better, to stop opponents’ streaks and start streaks of our own.”
Anderson, DSU’s libero, was named to the All-Tournament team for her defensive performance over the weekend. In the first match Urias had six kills and Maddie Rex added five to pace Dixie State early on. Rex led the first match with 11 total kills while Urias added 10 to match Bird.
Set No. 2 was tied 13-13 before a kill from Urias, a Cal Poly Pomona error and another kill from Rex sparked some momentum to take a 17-14 edge over the Broncos. Kendahl Weiland shut the door on the Broncos with a kill to win it 25-22.
DSU trailed early in the third set 13-12 but went on a 7-2 run to regain the lead at 20-15. The two teams traded points back and forth to close out the match 25-20.
In the nightcap, Dixie controlled the first set going on a 5-0 run to take a 15-12 lead. Dixie State expanded its lead further and won it 25-19.
In set two the momentum shifted and the Falcons made a late run late to eke out a victory 25-23. They continued that momentum in the next two sets winning 25-20, 25-17. Weiland led the Red Storm with 13 kills.
“SPU did a good job blocking. Our hitters need to find openings,” Felder said. “They had a solid defense and when they were down they came out swinging. Whereas we got rattled and did not rise to the challenge. It is a good learning experience for us and we will get better.”
Dixie State will play another weekend tournament in Riverside starting Thursday, Sept. 11 vs. Central Washington in Riverside, Calif.
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