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UVSC hangs on against Boise State

OREM — A struggling team can be just as dangerous as a team on a roll. Boise State proved that in keeping up with Utah Valley State, despite losing 3-1 (30-23, 27-30, 30-19, 30-20) in a women's volleyball match on Thursday night.

Neither team held a definitive edge through most of the match. Instead, it was a case of one team relying on putting together rallies and either taking leads or coming back from deficits.

"The girls made a great effort in controlling what they needed to do in the third and fourth games," UVSC coach Sam Atoa said.

Kathleen Stevens' second ace of the match that came in Game 3 didn't do much to change the outcome in UVSC's favor on its face — the score only being 20-14 after the play — but what it did do was effectively take the Broncos out of the match at that point.

Taking Game 4 in nearly the same way, the Wolverines took control midway through and finished on a strong note with a 5-0 rally.

Game 1 showed that the match would be a tit-for-tat battle as both teams struggled to take a clear advantage with eight lead changes in all. The Wolverines tied the game when Stevens' ace knotted the score at 13-all.

From then on, it was pretty much all UVSC as the team stretched the lead to 26-22. Jessica Endres' three kills helped end the game with a 4-1 run. Not down on their luck after that, the Broncos came out blazing for the second game. They took a 10-2 lead before UVSC started a comeback. Getting the deficit back to a manageable two points with Boise State ahead 18-16 was a tough task, but the Wolverines couldn't complete the rally in giving up three straight points.

It was back-and-forth from there almost until the end of the game. UVSC rallied once in taking the score to 28-27. But hitting errors by UVSC let the Broncos escape with the match-evening win, despite the Wolverines holding a .256 hitting average versus Boise State's .244 effort in Game 2. Meagen Bluth led UVSC's attack with a .565 hitting percentage and added 15 kills to provide a much needed presence up front.

"In those last two games, coming back wasn't an option," Bluth said. "We didn't want to play catch-up anymore."