OREM, Utah — Utah Valley University women's volleyball coach Sam Atoa released his 2013 schedule on Friday, which features 16 Western Athletic Conference matches as well as home contests against BYU, Utah and Arizona State.
"Every season things change and this year we are really thrilled and excited about our inaugural year in the WAC," said Atoa, who will enter his 15th season as head coach at UVU this fall. "We're also looking forward to what I feel is a great home schedule for us with 16 total home matches. We're looking forward to a good season and are excited to introduce the fans to all of our new WAC opponents."
The Wolverines, who will officially join the WAC on July 1, will play in four early season tournaments. Of those four tournaments, UVU will host two of them at the PE Building in Orem before beginning its first season of play in the WAC on Sept. 26.
"Everybody wants to be able to host tournaments and this year we are fortunate enough to be able to host two of them," Atoa said. "We've also got some good teams coming in with Arizona State coming to one and Utah to the other. We're really excited about the caliber of teams we've got coming here and it says a lot about the growth and success that we've had and we hope that we'll be able to continue to build on that."
UVU will kick off its 2013 campaign by welcoming Arizona State, North Dakota State and Wichita State to town for the La Quinta Inn and Suites Invitational on Aug. 30-31. The Wolverines' first match of the season will be against the ASU Sun Devils, an opponent that UVU beat in the two teams' last meeting in Tempe on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.
Following the opening weekend tournament, the Wolverines will welcome BYU to Orem for the first time since the 2010 season on Sept 3. Utah Valley will then hit the road to take part at Arizona's Wildcat Classic on Sept. 6-7 in Tucson, Ariz. The Wolverines will face off against Eastern Kentucky, Butler and Arizona while in Tucson.
UVU will then return home to host its second tournament of the young season, the Wolverine Classic on Sept. 13-14. The Wolverines will play host to Idaho State, UC Irvine and their third Pac-12 foe of the season in Utah that weekend. Following the classic, Utah Valley will face Weber State in Ogden on Sept. 17.
The Wolverines will then head to Colorado Springs, Colo., to take part in the Air Force Invitational on Sept. 20-21. UVU will face UC Riverside, Wyoming and the host Falcons while at Air Force.
Utah Valley will then venture to Moscow, Idaho, for the first time to face Idaho in the Wolverines' first-ever WAC match on Sept. 26. From there, UVU will continue WAC play by traveling to Seattle, Wash., to take on Seattle U on Sept. 28, and then down to Edinburg, Texas, to face a familiar foe in Texas-Pan American on Sept. 30. The Wolverines will then host their inaugural home WAC match on Oct. 3 when they welcome UMKC to the PE Building. UVU will conclude the week by hosting Chicago State on Oct. 5.
The Wolverines will once again hit the road the following week to take on CSU Bakersfield in Bakersfield, Calif., on Oct. 10, and Grand Canyon in Phoenix, Ariz., on Oct. 12. UVU will then step out of conference play to face former WAC member Utah State in Logan on Oct. 15, before beginning a five-match homestand that weekend.
During the homestand, the Wolverines will host Texas-Pan American on Oct. 17, New Mexico State on Oct. 19, Idaho on Oct. 24, Seattle U on Oct. 26, and their fifth and final in-state opponent of the year in Southern Utah on Oct. 28.
UVU will close out the regular season by facing UMKC in Kansas City, Mo., on Nov. 2, Chicago State in Chicago, Ill., on Nov. 4, Grand Canyon and Bakersfield in Orem on Nov. 7 and Nov. 16, respectively, and NM State in Las Cruses, N.M., on Nov. 21.
The Wolverines will then head to Phoenix, Ariz., to take part in the WAC Tournament at Grand Canyon University on Nov. 25-27. There, UVU will have its first-ever opportunity to play for an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
During the season the Wolverines will face schools from 10 conferences: the Big East, Big Sky, Big West, Missouri Valley, Mountain West, Ohio Valley, Pac-12, Summit League, WAC and West Coast. UVU will also play a full schedule of 32 regular season matches, 16 of which that will be played at home.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.