The defending Pacific West Conference champions were back at it again last week.
After defeating Holy Names University Saturday and the University of Hawaii at Hilo Monday, Dixie State University’s volleyball team has won its first four conference games to begin the season.
The Trailblazers entered the week having just swept Concordia University. It hosted HNU Saturday, who has only managed one win so far on the season.
“We can’t look past anyone,” head coach Robyn Felder said. “We are the defending PacWest Champions and every night we have to defend our title. We can’t take a night off.”
The first set began relatively even between the two teams as the score came to 7-10 for DSU. After that, the Trailblazers won 15 of the next 20 points and won the set 12-25.
The second set was similar to the first. DSU jumped out to the early lead, but the Hawks battled back to tie the set at 11. The Trailblazers rallied off 14 of the next 15 points, winning the second set decisively 12-25.
The third set saw DSU leading most of the way. It led 13-19 before the Hawks went on a 7-1 run to tie the set at 20. The Trailblazers quickly responded, however, and scored five in a row to take the set, and the match, 20-25.
“We need to come into every single game ready to play,” said redshirt junior Brette Anderson, a business administration major from Prescott, Arizona. “We came in thinking we would win, but we need to know that everyone is trying to [beat us].”
Following the victory, DSU squared off against UHH in a battle of the unbeaten teams in the PacWest Conference.
The Trailblazers came out firing and took an early lead, 6-13. They maintained a similar lead throughout the first set and eventually came out on top, winning 18-25.
The second set was a back-and-forth battle and was tied at 12 midway through. The Vulcans would eventually take the advantage and win the set, 25-21.
“Our performance overall wasn’t what we wanted it to be,” said redshirt sophomore Taylor Duryea, a communication major from Logan. “I think we did a lot of good things, but we just need to get better at staying consistent.”
Tied at one set a piece, DSU began the third set with a 7-12 lead. UHH cut into the lead and brought the score to 20-21 before DSU closed out the third set, winning 22-25.
The fourth set was close all the way through. It was tied at 12 and then again at 17 before the Vulcans took the lead 21-18. DSU then went on a 7-1 run to take the final set and won the match 22-25.
“We finished well,” Felder said. “We have to play at a high level no matter who we play. We escaped with a win tonight but have to play better against the top level teams.”
The Trailblazers have now won five straight games and are an unblemished 4-0 in the PacWest Conference. They are tied atop the conference standings with California Baptist University. DSU will play a non-conference game against Westminster College in Salt Lake City Wednesday before returning to conference play Saturday against Chaminade University at 6 p.m. in the Students Activity Center.