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Dixie State volleyball: DSU drops tough five-set duel at Azusa Pacific

Dixie State’s women’s volleyball team closed the road portion of its 2016 regular season schedule on a sour note as the Trailblazers dropped a hard-fought, five-set decision at Azusa Pacific on Saturday afternoon in Azusa, California. The setback moved the Trailblazers to 15-11 overall, 11-7 in Pacific West Conference play.

Dixie State got off to a strong start in the opening set, using a 12-3 run to turn a 10-9 lead into a 22-12 advantage en route to a 25-16 win and a 1-0 lead in the match. The Cougars (14-13,10-8 PacWest) looked like they would return the favor in the second frame as APU led by as many as seven points on a pair of occasions, but the Trailblazers rallied to eventually pull even at 24-24. However, APU strung together consecutive kills to close out the set, 26-24, to even the match at a set apiece.

Azusa Pacific rode that momentum to a 25-16 win in set three and was in control late in the fourth stanza at 19-16 after a pair of DSU attack errors. Dixie State would again rally as the Trailblazers pulled even at 21-21 before scoring four of the final five points of the frame to claim a 25-22 win and square the match at 2-2. DSU took an early 5-3 lead in set five, but APU erased the deficit with nine-straight points and never looked back as the Cougars clinched the match with a 15-11 set win.

Senior outside hitter Delayne Daniel led the way for the Trailblazers as she posted her 16th double-double of the year with 14 kills and 20 digs. Sophomore OH Taylor Duryea collected 11 kills and nine digs, while senior middle blocker Lindsay Garrett finished with 10 kills and a career-high-tying nine total blocks and senior setter Kailey Frei tallied 45 assists to go with six digs and five total blocks.

Dixie State’s defense recorded 14 total blocks on the day and 83 digs, including a team-high 24 from sophomore libero Sidney Brandon, but the Trailblazers were done in by a .104 hitting percentage on the offensive side.

Ally Gonzalez threw down a game-high 18 kills to lead three Cougars in double figures in kills. APU hit .131 as a team offensively and had five players post double figures in digs en route to 87 for the match.

Dixie State concludes the 2016 regular season with a two-match home stand, beginning with its final match ever vs. BYU-Hawaii this Monday at 6 p.m., inside the DSU Student Activities Center.

Steve Johnson is the Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations and Collegiate Licensing at Dixie State University. For more DSU Athletics news, please visit www.dixieathletics.com and follow Dixie State on Twitter at @DixieAthletics.