OREM, Utah – The Utah Valley University volleyball team will continue its month-long 12-match road stretch Friday when it heads to Las Vegas to take on UNLV. The contest will be the Wolverines' ninth consecutive away from home.
UVU is 5-3 during the stretch and has won five of its last seven matches. Two of the wins during the road trip have come over Mountain West Conference foes as the Wolverines are a perfect 2-0 against schools from the MWC this year.
The Wolverines are 7-6 on the season, and Friday will mark UVU's final non-conference tune-up before beginning its quest to repeat as champions of the Great West Conference at Texas-Pan American on Oct. 4.
Last week the Wolverines went 1-2 with a midweek loss at Southern Utah and a split at the Roadrunner Classic over the weekend in Bakersfield, Calif. At the Classic, UVU swept Maryland-Eastern Shore but then fell to host CSU Bakersfield in a tightly contested five-set battle (25-22, 16-25, 26-24, 21-25, 10-15).
UVU junior setter Brookelyn Hall earned her fourth all-tournament team accolades of the season last weekend, while freshman middle blocker Lauren Stringham earned her second. The two led the Wolverines last week as Hall had 97 assists (8.82 assist/set average), nine blocks (0.82 block/set average), 13 kills (.480 attack percentage) and three aces, and Stringham recorded 24 kills (.396 attack percentage) and 12 blocks (1.09 block/set average).
For the season, sophomore outside hitter McKenna Tait leads the Wolverines in kills with 98 and a 2.04 kill per set average. Stringham is next in kills with 90 and has a solid .310 attack percentage. Stringham is also tops on the squad in blocks with nine solos and 57 block assists for a 1.35 block per set average.
About UNLV: UNLV is 9-5 overall this season and off to a 2-0 start in Mountain West Conference play after road wins over Air Force and Boise State last weekend. The Rebels have won three in a row and six of their last eight contests. UNLV was projected to finish fifth in the MWC this year.
The Rebels are led offensively by Madeline Westman and her 150 kills, 2.88 kill per set average and her .335 hitting percentage. Westman also leads UNLV at the net, as she has 63 block assists, 13 solos and a 1.46 block per set average.
Friday's matchup will be the second all-time meeting between UVU and UNLV, with the Rebels holding a 1-0 series advantage. The lone previous meeting happened Sept. 25, 2004 in Las Vegas where it took UNLV all five sets to defeat the Wolverines.
Up Next for the Wolverines: Following Friday's contest, UVU will begin its quest to repeat in the Great West Conference. The Wolverines will open conference play on the road next week, as they will play at Texas-Pan American on Oct. 4 and at Houston Baptist two days later.
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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