After trailing two game to one, the Red Storm (9-3/6-0 PWC) mounted a comeback on the back of Maddie Rex (Tucson, AZ/Sabino) and Kendahl Weiland (Albany, OR/West Albany). Rex had had 23 digs and a match-high 21 kills, while Weiland was stellar by adding 17 kills.
Jumping out to a 25-21 win in the first set, the Red Storm appeared to be cruising to victory after they used the momentum from the first set to build a 9-4 lead in the second. But the Penguins (1-13/0-6 PWC) had other ideas and rattled off eight straight points to lead 12-9. DSU could never close the gap again and lost 23-25.
In the third game, the two squads traded points until DUC broke the tie at 8-8 and used a 12-4 run to swing the pendulum in their direction. The Penguins Jessica Jones (10 kills) and Hannah Stocking (13 kills) led them to a 25-19 game three win and a 2-1 advantage.
The two teams rallied for side out in the fourth game and with the match all square at seven, DSU started to separate themselves from the Penguins. Alex Anderson (Prescott, AZ/Prescott) served DSU to seven straight points to give them an 18-10 lead. After a quick side out for Dominican, Haylee Wilkes (Salt Lake City, UT/Brighton) followed with a run of four straight to give the Red Storm a 22-12 lead late in the fourth game. Two consecutive Rex kills gave DSU the 25-17 victory and force the match deciding fifth set.
It was all the Red Storm in game five, Anderson once again served the Red Storm to a 4-1 lead and Hannah Harrah (Saint George, UT/Dixie) and Nicole Koehler (Sandy, UT/Alta) also helped DSU secure the 15-6 win and survive the Penguins.
"It was almost a carbon copy of our match just one week ago at Dominican," said head coach Robyn Felder. "We were awful for two games, good in two, and stellar in the final."
The defense of the Red Storm made a huge difference, with Anderson earning a match high 40 digs. Setter Shelby Sorenson (Lehi, UT/Lehi) added 58 assists in the middle and 11 digs. Serving was also a high note, with the Red Storm squad earning nine service aces.
"We need to figure out how to put together a complete match," continued Felder. "But, I'm proud of the way we battled tonight."
DSU stays unbeaten in Pacific West play and is off to their best start since 2009 when the squad started 10-3. They will look to match that mark on Saturday when they host Azusa Pacific at 12:00 pm in the Student Activities Center.