UVU volleyball: UVU women's volleyball heads to Salt Lake to conclude Utah Classic

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 12 2012 4:06 p.m. MDT

OREM — The Utah Valley University volleyball team will head to Salt Lake City Friday to conclude play in the Utah Classic. The Wolverines will face Nevada at 10:00 a.m. and Cal Poly at 5:00 p.m. at the University of Utah's Crimson Court.

The Wolverines and Utes began the tournament with a match against one another at Crimson Court on Aug. 28 where Utah took the contest in three sets.

Live stats will be available for both of UVU's matches on Friday on the UVU athletics website.

The Wolverines (4-4) are coming off a solid outing in Fresno, Calif., last weekend where they went 2-1 and picked up wins over Fresno State and Sacramento State. UVU started the tournament by suffering a tough five-set loss to UC Davis on Friday but responded on Saturday as it defeated the Hornets in straight sets and came from behind to beat the Bulldogs in their home gym in five.

Both Wolverine junior setter Brookelyn Hall and junior libero Patti Hatch were named to the Fresno State Classic All-Tournament Team after Hall finished with 102 assists (7.85 assist/set average), 31 digs, 13 kills, nine block assists, a solo block and five service aces for the weekend, while Hatch recorded 42 digs (3.23 dig/set average).

UVU sophomore outside hitter McKenna Tait led the Wolverines in kills last week with 34 (2.62 kill/set average), including a career-high 17 against Fresno State. Freshman Lauren Stringham led the way defensively as she recorded 19 block assists and two solo blocks at the Fresno State Classic. She also put up a career-best 11 block assists and one solo versus the Bulldogs last Saturday.

For the season, Tait leads the Wolverines with 745 kills for a 2.50 kill/set average. Hall leads UVU in assists and service ace as she has 264 assists (8.80 assist/set average) and 15 aces, while Stringham is tops on the team in blocks with six solos and 33 block assists for a 1.30 block/set average.

UVU head coach Sam Atoa, who is in his 14th season at the helm of the Wolverine volleyball program, enters the weekend just one win shy of 300 for his career (299-139).

About Nevada: Nevada is 1-8 on the season and was selected to finish eighth in its first season in the Mountain West Conference. The Wolf Pack's lone win came in their first match of the year, as they defeated Tulane in five sets. Nevada has since lost eight in a row, including three at home last weekend. Tessa Lea'ea leads the Wolf Pack offensively with 100 kills, a 3.03 kill/set average and a .234 attack percentage. She has also been named an All-Tournament performer three times on the season.

Friday's meeting between UVU and Nevada will be the fourth all-time meeting between the two. The Wolf Pack are a perfect 3-0 against the Wolverines.

About Cal Poly: Cal Poly is 1-7 on the year and was tabbed to finish seventh in the Big West's Preseason Poll. The Mustangs have played a tough schedule so far this year that has included matches against No. 2 Texas, No. 5 USC, twice against No. 17 San Diego, LSU, Notre Dame and Northeastern. Cal Poly's victory came over Idaho at home on Aug. 30. The team is led offensively by Holly Franks and her 74 kills and 2.85 kill/set average.

Friday's contest between the Wolverines and Mustangs will be the third all-time meeting with the series currently tied at 1-1.

Up Next for the Wolverines: Following this weekend's play, the Wolverines will travel south to take on Southern Utah on Sept. 18. UVU will then head to Bakersfield, Calif., on Sept. 21-22 to take part in the Roadrunner Classic.

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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