Ricks Volleyball traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada this past weekend to compete in the Mountain West Conference Regional Event, which featured teams representing the Utah and Arizona regions. Ricks finished with an overall record of 5-1.
The night began with Ricks Blue facing off against Utah State C. Although the game was tied at 14, Ricks Blue was able to pull away and win the first set 25-18.
The win helped them carry the same momentum into the second set, winning the match at 25-16, capping off the first win of the tournament.
In the second match of the night, Ricks White was matched up against the newly renamed Utah Tech University. Both teams started off a little slow; Ricks White was the first to strike with a decisive first-set win.
With the team now warmed and ready to go, Ricks White finished the match with a sweep over Utah Tech University.
With both teams finishing their first matches with a win, Ricks White went on to face their toughest challenge of the tournament; the ranked #20 Utah Valley University Wolverines. Both teams traded blows throughout the beginning of both sets, but Utah Valley continued to go on large service runs, forcing Ricks White to call timeouts and re-group.
The Wolverines were able to finish the match with a clean sweep, giving Ricks White their only loss of the tournament.
On the other court, Ricks Blue quickly finished their match against UNLV B with another clean sweep and was finally lined up to play against Utah Valley University. Throughout the first set, Ricks Blue struggled to gain momentum as the Wolverines continued to push the tempo with serves and kills.
With a 23-20 lead in the first, Ricks Blue was able to rally after a few tough serves and crucial hitting errors from the side of Utah Valley University. With Ricks Blue finally taking the lead at 24-23, they were able to close out the first set with a crucial kill by Middle Blocker Jacob Park.
“It was an intense first set but I’m glad we were able to steal that first set away from them,” Park said. “It really changed the momentum of the match for us.”
Heading into the second set, Ricks Blue’s troubles continued as they went down 6-1 to start off the set, forcing a timeout in the first few minutes. After the timeout, Ricks Blue was able to get back into the game after Isaac Ditlevsen, led the team on a 4-point service run, tying the score up at 8-8.
After trading blows through the second set, Utah Valley finished the second set with a decisive 25-22 score, taking the match to a third and final set.
At the beginning of the final set, both teams found it hard to gain traction as each team continued to answer each point the other made. After a handful of errors on the Utah Valley side, Ricks was able to gain a comfortable lead being up 12-9. Although Utah Valley rallied back, Ricks Blue was able to finally close out the match with a kill by Jacob Cicon, winning 15-11.
With Ricks Blue finishing undefeated (3-0) and Ricks White only dropping one match (2-1), both teams hope to gain favorable seeding for the Mountain West Conference championships hosted in Greely, Colorado in the next couple of weeks.