UVU volleyball: Wolverine volleyball heads to California for Roadrunner Classic

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Sept. 20 2012 10:14 a.m. MDT

OREM — The Utah Valley University volleyball team looks to bounce back from a loss at Southern Utah Tuesday night when it heads to Bakersfield, Calif., this weekend to take part in the Roadrunner Classic.

At the tournament, the Wolverines will take on Maryland-Eastern Shore Friday at 1:30 p.m. MT and CSU Bakersfield Saturday at 8:00 p.m. MT. Live stats will be available for both matches on the CSU Bakersfield website, and live audio can be heard for the UMES contest on its school website.

The Wolverines (6-5) had won four-straight matches prior to falling in straight sets (25-27, 18-25, 21-25) at Southern Utah. UVU defeated Fresno State, Nevada, Cal Poly and Sacramento State during the streak.

Despite the loss to the Thunderbirds, freshman middle blocker Lauren Stringham led Utah Valley with eight kills and four block assists, and junior libero Patti Hatch led the back row with a match-high 19 digs.

For the season, sophomore outside hitter McKenna Tait leads the Wolverines in kills with 97 and a 2.37 kill per set average. Stringham is tops on the squad in blocks with 50 block assists and eight solos. She also averages 1.41 blocks per set.

About Maryland-Eastern Shore: UMES enters the weekend with a 14-1 record in 2012 and will take on CSUB Thursday night prior to facing off against UVU Friday. The Hawks are a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and won their first MEAC Championship last season. They also earned their first trip to the NCAA Tournament a year ago and were selected to repeat in the North Division of the MEAC this season.

The Hawks' lone loss this year was against New Mexico at the Tiger Invitational in Savannah, Ga. The Hawks are led offensively by Maline Vaitai with her 155 kills and her 2.72 kill per set average. Ndidi Ibe is tops on the team in blocks, as she has 55 block assists, four solo blocks and a 1.02 block per set average.

Friday's matchup will be the first-ever meeting between UVU and UMES.

About CSU Bakersfield: CSU Bakersfield is an NCAA Division I Independent and enters the weekend with a 3-7 overall record. The Roadrunners will take on UMES twice before closing out the Roadrunner Classic against the Wolverines Saturday night. The Runners three wins have come against The Citadel, Nevada and Norfolk State.

CSUB is led offensively by Debora Araujo and her 151 kills and 4.19 kill per set average. Julia Bowen leads the Roadrunners at the net with 32 block assists and four solo blocks.

UVU leads the all-time series over CSUB, 6-1. The Wolverines have also won the last three meetings and are a perfect 2-0 in Bakersfield.

Up Next for the Wolverines: Following this weekend's action, the Wolverines will travel to Las Vegas, Nev., to take on UNLV Friday, Sept. 28. UVU is a perfect 2-0 against opponents from the Mountain West Conference this season.

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

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