Dixie State volleyball won its sixth-straight match and moved a step closer toward a possible RMAC regular-season title as the Trailblazers outslugged fellow conference power Regis in a five-set thriller Saturday inside the DSU SAC.
The win, coupled with a Colorado School of Mines (15-2) home loss to Colorado Mesa, vaulted DSU to tie atop the RMAC standings with Mines at 15-2 with one regular season match remaining. In addition, the Trailblazers tied the program’s NCAA era record with their 20th-regular season win of the year as DSU improved to 20-4 overall.
The battle between two of the RMAC’s best teams in 2018 did not disappoint as the two sides battled back and forth throughout the afternoon. The Rangers (18-9,13-4 RMAC) drew first blood with a 25-20 first-set lead, during which Regis led by as many as six points at 11-6. DSU mounted a furious rally to draw even at 19-19, but the Rangers scored six of the final seven points of the frame to go up 1-0 in the match.
Dixie State turned the tables on the Rangers in set two as it was DSU that enjoyed an 11-6 advantage, but Regis battled back to knot the set at 18-18, only to see the Blazers outscore RU, 7-3, the rest of the way to square the match at 1-1 with a 25-21 win. Regis took the third set, 25-20, on the strength of a 13-2 run that turned a 10-7 DSU lead into a 21-12 cushion, but Dixie State answered back with a 25-18 triumph in set four to force a decisive fifth set.
Trailing 6-4 in the early stages of the final frame, Dixie State rattled off five-straight points to bolt to a 9-6 advantage after a To’a Faleao-Baich solo block. The Rangers made one more push to tie the stanza at 9-9, but the Trailblazer defense took over from there, accounting for three of DSU’s final six points with three crucial blocks, as Dixie State pulled away for a 15-11 match-clinching set win.
Faleao-Baich (career high) and Megan Treanor each tallied 16 kills to lead the Trailblazers, with Treanor posting her team-best ninth double-double of the year with 11 assists to go with seven digs and three blocks, while Faleao-Baich finished with five total blocks. Hannah Doonan also got into the act with her seventh double-double of the year as she filled the stat sheet with 11 kills, 18 digs, three assists, two aces and two block assists.
In addition, middle blocker Lauren Gammell (248) became DSU’s career leader in block assists with 11 on the night, including three big block assists in the Blazers’ final run in the fifth set. Gammell’s 11 total blocks also tied her single-match records for block assists and total blocks, and she moved into third place on DSU’s career total blocks list (269).
Dixie State outhit Regis, .228 to .151, for the match, while DSU hit .345 and .412 in both set wins and held the Rangers to a -.077 clip in the fifth set. The Trailblazers finished with a season-high 18.0 total team blocks, which tied for the second-most in a single match in the program’s four-year era.
Dixie State wraps up the 2018 regular season at home against in-state rival Westminster College on Friday, Nov. 2, at 6 p.m.