OREM Losing two in a row for the first time since mid-September would cause most teams to be tense in trying to stop the streak. For the Utah Valley State women's volleyball team, that wasn't the case as they were loose and smiling even when down in its win over Idaho State on Saturday night.
Winning 3-0 (30-19, 30-28, 30-24) gives one the impression that the Wolverines had an easy time. It certainly wasn't the case as the Bengals battled throughout all three games.
"I was proud of the girls to be able to step up to the challenge," UVSC coach Sam Atoa said. "All we needed was a good pass."
Idaho State's .351 hitting percentage in Game 1 usually isn't found among a losing team. That success can't be matched though by a side that scored on most of its hits as the Wolverines did when they hit for an astounding .514 average in the first game.
Kayli Broadbent led UVSC in kills in that game with eight, closely followed by Jessica Endres' six. The defense was solid as Allyce Wilson came away with seven digs.
Both teams' stellar hitting from the first game didn't carry over into the second as the Wolverines averaged a .229 mark and the Bengals just slightly behind at .213.
UVSC started Game 2 strongly and looked to breeze past the Bengals. Wilson again helped her side's cause with several digs that thwarted Idaho State's attempts to come back.
"Our blocks set up perfectly so I could be in any spot I wanted to," Wilson said.
But the visitors finally broke through in taking several points in a row to gain a 24-21 edge. UVSC wasn't down for long as they stormed back to take a 28-27 lead, with the go-ahead point coming on a long rally as the Bengals tried desperately to fend off Endres and Terin Ledall up front. Ledall came up big on game point as her spike across the court gave UVSC the game.
UVSC continued putting up the pressure in Game 3. The Wolverines had a 24-19 lead and closed out the match from there. The Wolverines had the hitting advantage again with a .194 average, while Idaho State's mark fell to .086 in Game 3.
Broadbent led the Wolverines in the match with 15 kills, and Kristi Lindley set up the offense with her 42 assists.