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UVU volleyball: Wolverines travel to California for Fresno State Classic

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Sept. 6 2012 12:29 p.m. MDT

OREM — The Utah Valley University volleyball team will hit the road to begin a 12-match road trip when it heads to Fresno, California, this weekend to take part in the Fresno State Classic.

At the tournament, UVU (2-3) will face three schools from the Golden State. The Wolverines will take on UC Davis Friday at 6:00 p.m., Sacramento State Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and host Fresno State Saturday at 8:00 p.m. All times are listed in Mountain Time, and all matches will take place at the Save Mart Center.

The Wolverines are coming off a 3-0 sweep over in-state rival Weber State in their home opener on Tuesday (25-20, 25-12, 25-17). The victory extended UVU's home winning streak to 13 matches. Sophomore McKenna Tait led UVU with a career-high 12 kills and a .526 hitting percentage versus the Wildcats. Senior Erica Nish also had a strong outing as she recorded a season-best eight kills, a .727 attack percentage, four block assists and three service aces.

For the season, Tait leads the Wolverines with 41 kills for a 2.41 kill/set average, while junior Lindsay Morrell is right behind her with 38 kills (2.71 kill/set average). Junior Brookelyn Hall leads UVU in assists and service ace as she has 162 assists (9.53 assist/set average) and 10 aces, and freshman Lauren Stringham is tops on the team in blocks with four solos and 14 block assists for a 1.06 block/set average.

"We hope to take this momentum (from the Weber State match) now with us on the road this weekend," UVU head coach Sam Atoa said. "We feel that it will be a very competitive tournament but if we play as well as we did against Weber State it will put us in a great position to succeed."

Live stats can be accessed for all three matches by visiting the Fresno State athletics site or the UVU athletic site. Live video will also be streamed for the Fresno State contest on the Bulldog's website.

About UC Davis: UC Davis is 2-4 on the season and was selected to finish eighth in the Big West's Preseason Poll. The Aggies have wins over Furman and Middle Tennessee on the year and are led offensively by Devon Demelio and Allison Whitson and their 76 (3.30 kill/set average) and 72 respective kills (3.13 kill/set average).

Friday's meeting between UVU and UCD will be the third all-time meeting with the Wolverines previously a perfect 2-0 against the Aggies.

About Sacramento State: Sacramento State is 3-3 on the year and was tabbed to finish sixth in the Big Sky's Preseason Poll. The Hornets have defeated Boise State, Jacksonville and Morgan State so far this season and are led offensively by Jessie Genger. Genger has 89 kills on the season, a 4.45 kill/set average and a .250 attack percentage.

Saturday's contest between the Wolverines and Hornets will be the second all-time meeting between UVU and Sacramento State with the Wolverines holding a 1-0 advantage.

About Fresno State: Fresno State is 4-2 so far this season and was projected to finish fourth in its first year of play in the Mountain West Conference. The Bulldogs' four victories have come over UTEP, Idaho State, Cornell and Colorado. Marissa Brand and her team-high 86 kills and 4.10 kill/set average lead the Bulldogs.

Saturday's matchup between Utah Valley and Fresno State will be the second all-time meeting with the Wolverines taking the first contest two years ago in Orem.

Up Next for UVU: Following this weekend's play, the Wolverines will return to the state of Utah to conclude the Utah Classic on Sept. 14 at Crimson Court in Salt Lake City. UVU, who fell in the opener of the classic to host Utah on Aug. 28, will face Nevada at 10 a.m. and Cal Poly at 5 p.m.

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com

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