Dixie State University volleyball continued its run through the Pacific West Conference by going 2-1 over the weekend and winning the first conference championship in school history.
“It’s truly awesome seeing these girls accomplish something they’ve worked so hard for,” head coach Robyn Felder said. “We established that winning the conference was a goal of ours coming into the season and to make it happen is just surreal. We’re not done yet, though.”
The PacWest-leading Storm came into the road trip bolstering a nine-match winning streak and a two-game lead on second place Brigham Young University-Hawaii.
Coincidentally, the Seasiders were the first team the Storm met on the trip, and it was not pretty. BYU-H dominated from the get-go, jumping out to a 9-3 lead. DSU never found an answer to the Seasiders balanced attack and lost in consecutive sets, 25-16, 25-17, 25-11, ending the Storm winning streak.
“We knew coming into the trip that it would be tough,” said senior middle blocker Mackenzi Bird-Murphey, a communication major from St. George. “The climate and time difference are never easy to adjust to, but we were able to turn it around after losing to [BYU-H].”
The Storm caught a break on the second game of the trip as Chaminade University lost nearly half of its roster due to a suspension before the game. DSU attacked the short-handed Silverswords to flip the script and win in consecutive sets, 25-23, 25-16, 25-23.
The Storm used 12 aces to down the Silverswords and move back into a 1.5 game lead in the PacWest. Junior setter Kailey Frei led the way with four aces and 29 assists in the win.
DSU ended the road swing with a contest on the Big Island against University of Hawaii-Hilo. Hilo came out hot, downing the Storm 27-25 in the first set before DSU was forced to respond once again.
The Storm did just that, dominating the next three sets, 25-12, 25-17, 25-15 en route to the 3-1 victory Saturday night. Junior outside hitter Delayne Daniel led the Storm with 13 kills and a team-high 16 digs on the night. Bird-Murphey recorded 10 block assists, moving into first all-time on DSU’s career list with 232.
The Storm will return home for their final two regular season games next week, first against Westminster College today and then Fresno Pacific University Saturday.