OREM — Utah Valley University forged a furious comeback Friday night against Idaho State, but the bid came up short as the Wolverines fell 3-2 (12-25, 23-25, 26-24, 25-22, 9-15) at the PE Building.
Freshman outside hitter Macky Treanor posted her third double-double of the season, finishing the match with 20 kills and 10 digs. Treanor has now reached the 20-kill mark three times this season. Senior setter Brookelyn Hall also walked away with her third double-double on the year, posting 47 assists and 12 digs.
"I felt like we had our chances tonight," head coach Sam Atoa said. "We had the momentum going into the fifth set, but we just dug ourselves too big of a hole. We're a good team, but we've got some things to learn. We just challenge ourselves sometimes and make things a little more difficult than they need to be with little mistakes."
Trailing 2-0 and facing its third consecutive sweep, Utah Valley kept the match alive with a dramatic third set victory. The Wolverines led for the majority of the frame, going in front by as many as five at 16-11. ISU, as was the norm for much of the night, slowly worked its way back into the set, though, eventually tying the score at 23-23. A long rally resulting in a Bengal error brought the Wolverines to set point, but a UVU attack error promptly leveled things again. The next two points, and the set, belonged to the Wolverines, however, when a combined block from Katie Fritzler and Kelcee Munk preceded Hall's set-deciding kill.
Set three was the first time the Wolverines had led in the match to that point. Treanor and Willden each recorded four kills, and UVU had four team blocks in the set to keep the match alive.
With momentum now on its side, UVU looked ready to run away with set four as it took an 18-10 lead midway through the frame. The eight-point lead came courtesy of an 8-1 run early in the set that featured kills from five different Wolverines. But back came ISU, scoring 12 of the set's next 17 points to cut the UVU advantage to 23-22. Again, the Wolverines answered as Wilden capped another lengthy rally with a kill and a block from Fritzler and Munk on the next point ultimately settled the set for UVU at 25-23.
The comeback bid stopped there, though, as the Bengals controlled the decisive fifth set from the get-go. The Bengals raced out to an 8-2 lead and never looked back, sealing the win with a 15-9 decision. UVU hit .389 in the frame but could not keep pace with ISU's .667.
Tressa Lyman led the way for Idaho State, smashing 26 kills to go along with 16 digs. Alydia Fields-Grimm added 12 kills and a match-high 23 digs, while Lori Mendenhall-Lee's 53 assists and 21 digs gave the Bengals their third double-double on the night.
After a disastrous first set, UVU nearly stole the second set despite another early deficit. Behind 17-12 earlier in the frame, Utah Valley used a 5-0 run, powered by kills from Treanor, Stringham and Fritzler along with an ace from McKenna Tait, to knot things at 21-all. ISU claimed the next two points, but again the Wolverines fought back to tie things at 23-23 behind kills from Treanor and Hall. But back-to-back errors undid UVU at the end as it dropped the second set 25-23 and went into the intermission behind 2-0.
The Wolverine Classic continues Saturday with Utah Valley slated for a pair of matches. The Wolverines face UC Irvine at 12:30 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. tilt with in-state rival Utah.
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.