Red Storm Recap: Squads face top talent to prepare for conference matchups

ST. GEORGE – It was a disheartening weekend for Red Storm athletics as only the volleyball team posted a victory. All teams faced nationally-ranked or top-quality opponents. The win over Alaska-Anchorage on Saturday salvaged a trip to Riverside by Coach Robyn Felder’s squad. Pre-conference games are over now for both volleyball and soccer. PacWest play will begin this week. The football team opened its conference schedule this past week against the Central Washington Wildcats.

Dixie State ran into a team known for its defense. Central Washington graduated three all-conference and one All-American defender last year but more importantly returned five all-conference defenders from last year. But CWU added an imposing offense against the Red Storm, with almost 600 yards in total offense. DSU was held to 235 total yards by the Wildcats — 405 yards fewer than the output in Week 1 against Colorado Mesa.

featdsufootball14After the Red Storm knotted the score at 7-7 on its second possession, the Wildcats posted 41 unanswered points before Dixie would score again.

Turnovers that plagued DSU the previous week actually tilted in the Red Storm’s favor 4-2. But the DSU defense had a difficult time stopping the Wildcat offense from sustaining long drives. CWU only punted twice and scored on 9 out of 15 drives.

DSU quarterback Hayden Gavett struggled to find the offensive groove throughout the game. He completed only 4 of his 18 attempts and threw a pair of second-half interceptions. Garland Munns led all DSU defenders with 10 tackles, while Justin Ence and Aeryus Holloway each had nine. Defensive end Jake Miller had four tackles for loss, including the team’s first sack of the season.

Read the complete STGNews story.

The Storm continues GNAC play this Saturday against Humboldt State in the home-opener at Hansen Stadium. Kickoff against the Jacks is slated for 6 p.m.

The DSU Volleyball team competed in its second straight four-game invitational. The PacWest-GNAC tournament featured the top four teams from each conference last year in Riverside, Calif. The Red Storm had the opportunity to face two nationally-ranked teams and two other teams with only one loss. Dixie began the crossover with a five-set loss to then No. 13 nationally-ranked Central Washington on dsuvbfeatThursday. On Friday morning the Red Storm again lost in five sets to Northwest Nazarene. “We started out the deciding sets with big holes,” said Felder. “We were able to come back and tie, but in both instances we could not sustain that momentum.

Dixie State faced No. 9 nationally-ranked Western Washington on Friday night. WWU was able to win in four sets. On Saturday the Red Storm salvaged the invitational with a win against Alaska Anchorage in five sets. This time Dixie was able to take the early lead in the deciding set and close out 15-9. Read the complete STGNews story.

After starting the season on the road for two straight weeks Dixie State will open the conference season at home on Friday, Sept. 19 vs. Notre Dame de Namur at 6 p.m.

DSU goalkeeper Spencer Anderson was named the PacWest defender of the week on Tuesday after shutting out Cal-Poly Pomona the week earlier. The Red Storm was on the road last week, where it fell twice to go to 0-2-1 on the year.

DSU suffered its first setback on Thursday night at Triton Soccer Stadium, falling to No. 9 nationally-ranked UC San Diego, 2-1 in San Diego.

soccerAfter surrendering the first goal of the match to UCSD in the 20th minute, Dixie State was able to notch the equalizer in the 22nd minute on Michael Gray’s first goal of the year. Jorge Echavarria assisted on the goal passing the ball to the top of the box. Gray did the rest by finding the net on the right side of the goal.

Both teams played scoreless the rest of the opening half and for nearly 30 minutes of the second half. UCSD freshman Zach Lagotta rocketed a shot past Anderson to give the Tritons a 2-1 lead.

Dixie State had two looks in the 86th and 87th minutes respectively. Michael Ropelato fired both shots – the first one missed wide right while the second was blocked by the Triton defense.

The Storm fired 11 shots for the match, led by four from Ropelato. Anderson, the current Pacific West Conference Defender of the Week, made seven saves in goal.

Dixie State wrapped up play during a weekend trip to Southern California with a 5-1 loss to Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday at Coyote Premier Field. Coyote forward Corey Christ scored twice in the opening half and once more in the second half as CSUSB built a three-goal cushion at the break. The Red Storm completed their short trip to the Golden State with a pair of losses.

San Bernardino’s first goal came in the 11th minute as Larry Llamas assisted on Christ’s first goal – a shot to the left side from 10 yards out.

Edgar Llamas figured in the last two goals of the half. He scored off a long entry pass in the 43rd minute and assisted on the second goal from Christ just 35 seconds shy of halftime.

Christ completed the hat trick in the 73rd minute.

Sean Jenne got DSU on the scoreboard in the 75th minute with his first goal of the year off a free kick.

Anderson and Hayden Matthews split time in goal for the Storm.

CSUSB outshot Dixie State 25-12 for the match.

Dixie State heads to Salt Lake City to play a neutral site match against Northwest Nazarene on Sept. 16 beginning at 3:30 on the campus of Westminster College.

DSU’s Jennifer Mason was named PacWest player of the week in women’s soccer last week. Mason turned in a performance of the year candidate in just the second game of the season. She recorded five points on two goals and an assist in Dixie’s 3-0 win over Cal Poly Pomona. She scored twice off corner kicks against the Broncos for the first multi-goal game of the season in the PacWest.

soccerThe women’s soccer team shared the same results as the men, losing twice on the road. Dixie State opened its four-game California road trip over consecutive weekends on the wrong end of a 4-0 shutout at the hands of Cal State Los Angeles on Thursday.

The Storm was outshot 21-7 for the match, including 13-4 on goal.

Jennifer Mason and Kaisa Rogers accounted for five of the seven shots for Dixie State. Four different Golden Eagles scored with two goals coming in each of the first and second half.

The Dixie State women’s soccer team also came up short on the road Saturday, as the Storm were handed a 3-1 defeat at the hands of No. 19 nationally-ranked Coyotes of Cal State San Bernardino.

The Storm struck first on a goal from Erica Gonzalez, but the Coyotes responded with three goals in the second half to pull ahead in the non-conference battle.
Gonzalez put DSU up 1-0 in the 33rd minute after breaking free off a Mason pass. The shot from the left past the CSUSB keeper gave DSU the lead at halftime.

Kiana Quarles netted the equalizer and go-ahead goals in the second half, her third and fourth goals of the year. Melanie Guayo added a penalty kick in the 81st minute to seal the two-goal winning margin.

The Storm will make another trip to Southern California next weekend for matches with Cal Poly Pomona on Saturday and Cal State Dominguez Hills on Monday.

Red Storm Recap is a weekly column following Dixie State athletics and is written by DSU beat writer Darren Cole.

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

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