UVU volleyball: Utah Valley hosts Wolverine Classic this weekend
Shane Truskolaski, UVU Athletics
OREM - Fresh off its first road trip of the 2013 season, the Utah Valley University volleyball team returns home for three more as it hosts the Wolverine Classic on Friday and Saturday at the P.E. Building. The tournament field features Idaho State, UC Irvine and in-state rival Utah.
The Wolverines will face ISU at 7 p.m. on Friday, then UCI and Utah on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
Live video and live stats for the weekend's entirety are available free of charge. Live video can be found on UVU's website .
Utah Valley (2-5) returns to Orem after three matches at the Arizona Desert Classic last weekend. The Wolverines went 1-2 in Tucson, defeating Eastern Kentucky but falling to Butler and host Arizona.
Freshman Macky Treanor posted a match-high 21 kills against EKU, followed by 17 more from junior Kalani Norris. Sophomore Lauren Stringham added seven block assists, and senior Katie Fritzler notched five. The win snapped a three-game losing skid for the Wolverines and gave the Colonels their first loss of the young season.
UVU went down in straight sets to Butler, a member of the Big East Conference, and Arizona of the Pac-12. Freshman Nakisha Willden tallied a season-high 14 kills against the Bulldogs while Treanor's six led the way against the Wildcats.
After notching 10 kills, seven blocks and four digs on the weekend, Fritzler was named to the Arizona Desert Classic All-Tournament team, as was junior libero McKenna Tait who had a team-high 32 digs, 12 assists and four service aces.
For the season, Treanor leads the Wolverines and ranks second in the WAC with a 3.83 kill per set average. Norris is next at 3.14. Stringham's 1.09 blocks per set are good for the team lead while senior Brookelyn Hall continues to lead the squad in assists at 9.22 per set.
ISU enters the weekend at 5-3 and is coming off back-to-back straight-set wins over UC Riverside and Montana Western. All but one of the Bengals' eight matches - a 3-1 loss to South Dakota State in the opener - this season have been decided within the minimum three sets. ISU holds 3-0 victories over Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech, and 3-0 defeats at the hands of Missouri and New Mexico.
Sophomore outside hitter Tressa Lyman paces the Bengals at 4.12 kills per set - a figure that leads the Big Sky Conference - and is coming off a 14 kill performance against UMW. Junior Alydia Fields-Grimm is next with a 2.55 kills per set average.
Friday marks the 11th meeting all-time between the Wolverines and Bengals. UVU leads the series 6-4, but fell 3-0 in the most recent meeting on Sept. 24, 2011, in Pocatello.
With its five-match, season-opening win streak snapped last Saturday against Cleveland State, UCI (5-1) will look to get things back on track in the Beehive State this weekend. The Anteaters have yet to play at home, opening the season on a ten-match road trip. Still, they have found early season success, grabbing wins over the likes of Denver, Air Force and IPFW thus far.
UCI was picked to finish fifth in the Big West's preseason poll and currently has four players averaging 2.00 kills per set or greater this season. Senior Aly Squires, an all-Big West honorable mention selection last season, leads the way at 3.56, followed closely by Marisa Bubica's 3.00. A sophomore, Bubica appeared on the Big West's All-Freshman team in 2012. Junior Allison Lee holds a 2.60 mark in the early season and true freshman Cassidy Pickrell sits right a 2.00. The Anteaters also boast the Big West's top two players in blocks per set in senior Shannon Fleming (1.20) and junior Arielle Manz (1.16).