Dixie State’s women’s volleyball team won its season-best fourth-straight match with a 3-1 triumph in a slugfest with Academy of Art on Sunday afternoon at the DSU SAC. The match, DSU’s 2017 home finale, also marked the final Pacific West Conference home match for the Trailblazer program, which will transition to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference beginning next season.
Dixie State (13-13, 11-7 PacWest) jumped out to a two-set lead in the match, but it was not easy as the Trailblazers rallied from a 20-12 deficit with an 11-3 run to pull even at 23-23. Freshman Sydney Johnson then gave DSU just its second lead of the frame with a service ace to force set point, which sophomore Lauren Gammell clinched with a kill.
DSU claimed a 25-22 set-two win and held a 17-14 advantage in set three. However, the Urban Knights (5-20, 2-16 PacWest) rattled off six-straight points and outscored Dixie State, 11-5, to close the frame to take set three, 25-22, and close the gap to 2-1 in the match.
In the decisive fourth set, the Trailblazers raced out to a 15-9 lead, but again DSU could not hold on to it as AAU scored eight of the next nine points overall to take a 17-16 advantage. Following a DSU timeout, the Trailblazers responded with five-straight points, including a pair of Gammell kills and a Shannon Sorensen throw down, to wrestle the lead back at 21-17 and never looked back as DSU clinched the match with another 25-22 set win.
Junior Kayla Chapman led DSU with 12 kills, while freshman Kaycee Adams collected six of her 11 career-high kills in the fourth set. Gammell finished with seven kills and a game-high nine total blocks, and freshman setter Jordyn Nelson recorded her 10th double-double of the year with 24 assists and 10 digs. In all, 10 of the 16 Trailblazers who played notched at least one kill.
Dixie State managed to hit .176 in the match with 55 kills and nine service aces. DSU’s defense held AAU to a .182 hitting percentage and collected 12 total team blocks. AAU’s Bailey Soolsma led the Urban Knights with 22 kills and 12 digs.
Dixie State closes out the 2017 season with its final two PacWest matches, which will be played at Concordia-Irvine on Friday, Nov. 17, followed by the finale at league newcomer Biola on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Steve Johnson is the Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations and Collegiate Licensing at Dixie State University. For more DSU Athletics news, please visit www.dixieathletics.com and follow Dixie State on Twitter at @DixieAthletics.