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UVU volleyball: Hall breaks assist record, Wolverines top UMKC on road

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Nov. 2 2013 11:44 p.m. MDT

Senior setter Brookelyn Hall (left, No. 3) sets a ball at the PE Building in Orem last week. Hall broke the UVU all-time career assist record at Kansas City on Saturday.

Linsey Craig, UVU Athletics

Enlarge photo»

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Senior setter Brookelyn Hall became Utah Valley's all-time leader in career assists early in the first set Saturday night as UVU defeated Kansas City in WAC play, 3-1, at the Swinney Recreation Center (22-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-21). With the victory, the Wolverines (16-12) not only swept the season series over UMKC (13-11, 7-5 WAC) but also remain in second place in the conference standings with a 9-3 WAC clip.

"Despite a rough start, we were able to settle down and that allowed us to take control," head coach Sam Atoa said. "Overall, I felt like the girls did an excellent job. I'm very proud of Brookelyn, for her to be able to break the assist record tonight."

Hall, who needed just three assists in the match to become UVU's all-time leader in that category, passed assistant coach Lacee Jones' pervious record of 4,057 assists early in the opening set. Hall, who now has 4,103 career assists, also put up her team-leading seventh double-double of the season by posting a match-high 48 assists and a career-high 18 digs.

Three Wolverines finished in double digits in kills on the night, and junior Kalani Norris led the way with a match-high 18. Sophomore Lauren Stringham was next for UVU with 12, and senior Katie Fritzler added 10. Norris also recorded her third double-double of the year as she chipped in 12 digs, while Stringham added a team-high five blocks and seven digs.

After dropping the opening set, 25-22, the Wolverines went on to win the next three sets to complete the come-from-behind victory.

In set number two, Utah Valley used a 7-1 run to take command of the frame late as it took a 19-11 advantage. Junior McKenna Tait capped the run with an ace, while freshman Nakisha Willden led the spurt with three kills. UVU held its lead the rest of the set anf evened the match at 1-1 with a seven point second-set victory.

Following the intermission break, the Kangaroos bounced back early in the third set by jumping out to a 4-0 lead. The Wolverines quickly closed the gap, however, and used a 5-0 run midway through the frame to take a 15-10 lead. Fritzler led the run with back-to-back-to-back kills. UVU maintained the upper hand and later put the third set away on consecutive from Norris.

Utah Valley then led the fourth and final set from start to finish as it completed the comeback road win in four sets. The `Roos pulled to within a point several times early on, but UVU pulled away late as it stretched its lead to as many as seven points down the stretch. Norris led the Wolverines in the final frame with six kills.

Taylor Buhrow led the `Roos in the contest with 12 kills, while Emma Hagedorn chipped in eight kills and a match-high six blocks.

UVU continues its Midwest road swing Monday at Chicago State at 6 p.m. MT. The Wolverines will then come home to continue WAC play against Grand Canyon on Thursday, Nov. 7.

With three service aces in Saturday's contest, Tait — the conference-leader in aces — will enter Monday's match at Chicago State just five aces back of becoming Utah Valley's career leader in that category.

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.

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