WVU Volleyball Winds Up Hawaii Trip With A Win

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    Hitting .236 in the match, the West Virginia University volleyball team swept Utah Valley, 3-0, in its final match of the 2019 Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Volleyball Challenge on Saturday, held inside the University of Hawai’i’s Stan Sheriff Center, in Honolulu, Hawai’i. The Mountaineers (5-4) took the match from the Wolverines (2-8) in set scores of 25-15, 27-25 and 25-17.

    Sophomore outside hitter Kristin Lux finished the match with a team-high 13 kills, while sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Kristina Jordan added 12 kills on the evening to round out the Mountaineers in double-digits.

    Junior middle blocker Katie DeMeo posted seven total blocks, including one solo stop, for a season high, adding a trio of kills in the match. Redshirt junior middle blocker Audrey Adams and Lux also were good for four blocks each.

    Junior defensive specialist Alexa Hasting led the floor defense with 15 digs, while sophomore setter Lacey Zerwas assisted on 30 of the team’s 41 kills.

    Additionally, the Mountaineers notched four service aces in the match, including a trio of aces from Jordan. The Mountaineers hit .236 with 41 kills and 11 team blocks. Utah Valley recorded 29 kills on 108 attacks with five team blocks.

    The Mountaineers got into a rhythm early in the first set, scoring 11 of the first 13 points for the 11-2 lead over the Wolverines. Another 4-0 scoring run increased WVU’s lead to double-digits at 17-5, but UVU used a late 4-0 scoring streak of its own to cut its deficit to eight at 21-13. West Virginia called a timeout to regroup, as senior outside hitter Katelyn Evans came up with a huge swing out of the stoppage for the 22-13 advantage. Back-to-back kills from Utah Valley kept the Wolverines hopes alive, but Lux answered with a kill of her own, as Zerwas tipped one over the net to bring WVU to set point at 24-15. Adams and Zerwas then teamed up for the block on the next serve, winning the set, 25-15, and taking the 1-0 match advantage.

    After playing to 12 ties and nine lead changes throughout the course of the set, West Virginia used three consecutive points to close out the second stanza with a 27-25 win. The Mountaineers came from behind, posting a pair of kills to tie the set at 20-all. Both teams traded points down the stretch, but back-to-back kills put WVU at set point at 24-23. Utah Valley used its final timeout of the frame, placing two kills through the pins out of the stoppage and extending the set at 25-24. West Virginia then capitalized on two Wolverine errors, as Jordan served up her third ace of the evening for the second-set victory and 2-0 lead in the match.

    West Virginia handily claimed the third set, 25-17, to collect its fourth sweep of the season.  Utah Valley took a timeout, trailing 17-12, but the Mountaineers continued to roll, scoring a pair of kills down the stretch for the 20-14 advantage. Adams and Jordan found the floor late in the frame to push WVU’s lead back to six at 23-16. Jordan continued with the hot hands, using her 12th kill of the match to bring WVU to set point at 24-17. DeMeo then came up with a solo stop on the next rally to capture the third-set victory and 3-0 triumph in the match.

    Looking ahead, the Mountaineers will return to Morgantown for a three-match tournament from Sept. 20-21, at the WVU Coliseum. West Virginia welcomes Duquesne, Eastern Kentucky and Navy to the Mountaineer Invitational, as the squad squares off with the Duquesne Dukes on Sept. 20 before facing the Eastern Kentucky Colonels on Sept. 21. Saturday evening’s finale will be a showdown between the Mountaineers and the Navy Midshipmen, a team that qualified for the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

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