OREM, Utah - Utah Valley University women's volleyball coach Sam Atoa announced his 2012 schedule Wednesday. The Wolverines will play four in-state contests, as well as host the Great West Conference Tournament.
The first of four in-state matches for the Wolverines will come against Utah on Aug. 28, at Crimson Court in Salt Lake City. UVU's lone home match of the four will then happen on Sept. 4, when it welcomes Weber State to town for its home opener. The Wolverines will also face Southern Utah in Cedar City on Sept. 18 and crosstown rival BYU in Provo in its regular season finale on Nov. 20. The GWC Tournament will take place the weekend before the BYU match on Nov. 15-17 at the Activity Center.
In all, the Wolverines will host six home matches during the regular season, while the majority of the campaign will be played on the road.
"It's going to be a challenging schedule for us with a lot of tough competition coming away from home," said Atoa, who led his team to a school record 23 wins a year ago. "I wish we had a better home schedule; however, this is going to be a great task for us to see if we can perform and execute on the road. I'm expecting some good things from this young team but all of these road contests will definitely test us."
Utah Valley will officially begin its season at the University of Arizona's Wildcat Classic in Tucson, Ariz., Aug. 24-25. There, the Wolverines will take on Cal State Northridge and Evansville on the 24th and the Pac-12 Wildcats on the 25th. After two in-state matches, UVU will once again hit the road on Sept. 7-8 and travel to Fresno, Calif. for the Fresno State Classic. The Wolverines will take on UC Davis, Sacramento State and Fresno State respectively at the tournament.
The next two weekends the Wolverines will continue their preseason schedule by playing in two more invitationals. On Sept. 14, UVU will take on both Nevada and Cal Poly at the Utah Classic in Salt Lake City, and the following weekend (Sept. 21-22) the Wolverines will square off against CSU Bakersfield and Maryland Eastern Shore. The Wolverines will then travel to Las Vegas to take on UNLV on Sept. 28 before beginning conference play the following week. UVU will begin its eight-match GWC schedule by traveling to the Lone Star State for matches against Texas-Pan American on Oct. 4 and Houston Baptist on Oct. 6. Utah Valley will then come home to begin a five-match homestand against NJIT on Oct. 13. During the home stretch the Wolverines will also host Chicago State (Oct. 19), CSUB (Oct. 20), HBU (Oct. 25) and UTPA (Oct. 27).
UVU will finish its conference schedule by traveling to Newark, N.J. to take on the NJIT Highlanders on Nov. 8 and then on to the Windy City to face the CSU Cougars on Nov. 10. The defending conference champion Wolverines will look to win their first GWC tournament title the following week when they will host the tournament for the first time.
"Having the chance to host the conference tournament is a great opportunity for us," Atoa added. "I'm really excited about the opportunity to be able to play it at home in front of our fans. It also puts us in a great position to possibly win the conference tournament, a thing that has eluded us the past few years."
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com