The Dixie State volleyball team earned wins against the Azusa Pacific Cougars and the Concordia Eagles Friday and Saturday night, both victories coming after five sets.
DSU only trailed APU twice in the first set while posting a .425 hitting percentage with 17 kills and eventually won the first set 25-19. Senior middle blocker Makenzi Bird-Murphey, junior Delayne Daniel, and freshman outside hitter Taylor Duryea each had four kills in the first set, but Duryea had the final two which gave DSU the victory.
The score was much closer in the second set, which featured eight lead changes and 15 ties. APU eventually won and scored three out of the final four points for a 24-26 victory to tie the match.
Aided by another four kills by Bird-Murphey, DSU jumped out to a 13-7 lead early on in the third set, but DSU let APU go on an 8-2 run which tied the score at 15 apiece. Later, trailing 18-17, DSU mounted a comeback thanks to two kills in a row by junior middle blocker Lindsay Jones and a service ace from freshman libero Sidney Brandon. DSU defeated APU 25-22 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
DSU began the fourth set with momentum after winning the third set. DSU led 7-2 early on, but APU would go on a 15-4 run to take a 17-11 lead late in the set. DSU committed nine errors during APU’s 15-4 run, which APU used to its advantage and it eventually won 16-25 to force a fifth set.
In the fifth and final set, Duryea recorded a team high 18 kills, including the game winner. DSU led in a wire-to-wire final set that eventually ended in a DSU victory, which gave them the victory in the match 3-2.
Against APU, Bird-Murphey ended with 14 kills, Jones added another 11, and the team as a whole recorded 61 total kills. Junior setter Kailey Frei had 51 assists total, which marked the fourth time this season she eclipsed the 50 assist mark in a match.
DSU had a game the next evening against Concordia in Irvine, California, a team who was 13-10 overall and 9-5 in Pacific West Conference play coming into Saturday’s match-up. CU trailed only briefly to DSU in the first set but pulled away to claim the first set 20-25.
DSU tied up the score with a victory in the second set by a score of 25-18, getting three kills from Jones and two more from Bird-Murphey and Duryea during a 10-3 DSU run, which gave the Storm the victory.
CU led for most of the third set, and ultimately won 19-25, building off of a 7-1 lead to start the set.
DSU won the fourth set 25-18 to force a fifth and deciding set. After a 17-17 tie, DSU scored seven consecutive points, which DSU used to to hold off the Eagles for an eventual win. DSU scored the first six points of the set, five of those coming on Duryea‘s serves. Bird-Murphey recorded a career-high 17 kills in the fifth set, including a kill on a match point which gave DSU the match victory.
Bird-Murphey finished with a .708 hitting percentage against CU, which is the best hitting percentage she’s achieved in a match in her career. Sophomore Brette Anderson added 14 total kills and five blocks. Jones finished the match against CU with 12 kills and a .391 hitting percentage.
With consecutive wins this past weekend, DSU improved its record to 14-8 overall and 11-3 in PacWest play, climbing into a first place tie with California Baptist, whom they will play Nov. 4 at 6 pm at home. DSU will also host Point Loma on Nov. 7 at noon.