LOS ANGELES – The Dixie State Volleyball team began its season today in L.A., losing in straight sets to the host Golden Eagles in the CSU-LA Invitational. Both schools received votes finishing just out of the AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) preseason top 25 poll.
In the first set, the Storm faced a deficit early as CSU-LA jumped to a 6-3 lead. DSU knotted the score at six behind two kills from Kailey Frei. Sidney Brandon’s serving got the Red Storm to a 9-7 advantage. Consecutive kills by Delayne Daniel and Brette Anderson gave the Storm its biggest lead in the first set, 14-10.
“We had stretches of good play,” said DSU head coach Robyn Felder. “But we had even more stretches of poor play and it is difficult to overcome those when you are playing teams of this high caliber.”
The Golden Eagles began to claw back, but the Storm still led 17-15 after Frei’s kill. CSU-LA then scored four consecutive points to retake the lead. CSU’s Lauren Gomez and Iona Lofrano had consecutive kills to get the Golden Eagles to game point. A costly service error gave the first set to CSU-LA 25-21.
In the second set, both teams traded points to get to a 7-7 tie. The Golden Eagles would then go on a 4-0 run. Makenzi Bird-Murphey’s kill pulled the Red Storm to within two, 13-11, but they could get no closer. The Golden Eagles went on an 8-1 run to put the set out of reach, 21-12. Again service and attack errors cost the Red Storm as CSU-LA closed out the set 25-15.
The Golden Eagles started out the third set with four straight kills. Three service aces by Jamie Ann Bero gave the Golden Eagles a 13-4 advantage. Sidney Brandon was able to pull the Red Storm back with seven consecutive points to trail 13-11. But again, that margin was as close as they would get. Brette Anderson’s kill pulled the Storm to within three 21-18, but Bero once again served masterfully adding three more aces to close out the set 25-18.
For the match DSU had 11 service errors and 10 receiving errors. “We had a lot of unforced errors,” said Felder. “When you have that many errors you lose not only points, but momentum and energy.”
Individually, Bird-Murphey and Daniel led DSU with seven kills apiece. Alex Anderson had 11 digs. Brandon had three service aces. Frei finished with 23 assists, five kills and five digs.
Dixie State will play again tonight at 6:30 Mountain Time against Seattle Pacific University.
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