Dixie State University lost its first home game of the season Oct. 7 in a five-set battle against Chaminade University of Honolulu, but it bounced back nicely Oct. 17 defeating Hawaii Pacific University 3-1, and continued its streak Saturday, winning 3-1 against Academy of Art University.
The Red Storm controlled the first two sets against Chaminade, winning both 25-19, but couldn’t review the third set to pick up the victory. Chaminade grinded out the third set winning by only two points.
Chaminade recorded a match-high 17 kills in set four, scoring six straight points to take a 17-11 lead and coasting to the set win.
DSU jumped out to a quick lead in the final set, but Chaminade rallied and later took the lead 12-9 late in the set. DSU battled back, but Chaminade capitalized on two Storm hitting errors on the final two points clinching the match.
Chaminade led in every major statistic besides aces and blocks. Senior libero Alex Anderson, a biology major from Prescott, Arizona, led the Storm with 40 digs and three aces. Freshman hitter Taylor Duryea led the team in kills with 13.
“We thought we had won,” Anderson said. “We took our foot off the gas pedal and kind of played relaxed, and you can’t do that at the college level against a really good team like Chaminade.”
DSU split the first two sets against HPU winning the first 22-25 and losing the second 25-18.
“It was good for us to have a loss like that [against Chaminade],” Anderson said. “I think we had that game in the back of our minds, (and) we all knew what an awful feeling that was and none of us wanted that to happen again.
DSU had the help of five loud hecklers that made their way to the student sections Saturday.
“We could definitely hear it,” said junior setter Kailey Frei, an elementary education major from Orem. “I love it when the crowd gets involved. It helps our performance so much.”
The third set would be a slugfest. Both teams gained four-point leads in the set, but neither team could find a way to win the set until Duryea closed with one of her team-high 15 kills to give DSU 2-1 set lead.
The Red Storm led the entire fourth set and led 20-14 after back-to-back solo blocks from Frei. Frei had a double-double with match-high 42 assists and 10 digs, not to mention three solo blocks.
“It felt good because I … struggled blocking before, and I wanted a block,” Frei said. “I was really focusing on it. I think it just gave us more motivation, and we were able to finish out that game.”
DSU improved 6-3 in PacWest play after winning against Academy of Art Saturday. The Storm won 25-18, 25-11, 23-25, 25-22.
Dixie State begins a five-match PacWest road swing to close out October, starting with three matches next week at Fresno Pacific University Oct. 21, at Holy Names University Oct. 23, and at Dominican University Oct. 24.