The Utah Valley University volleyball team looks to add to its current three-match winning streak when it hosts Seattle University on Saturday. The Western Athletic Conference match is set for 1 p.m., at UVU's Lockhart Arena.
Saturday's contest will feature live video and live stats. Fans can watch the match live on the WAC Digital Network, with Matt Baiamonte and Kyle Bruderer on the call, as well as follow live stats at UVUStats.
After defeating Chicago State and UMKC on the road last week, the Wolverines (10-12, 5-2 WAC) have now won three-straight matches and enter the weekend in a three-way tie for second place in the conference standings. With UT Rio Grande Valley leading the way at 6-1, UVU, New Mexico State and CSU Bakersfield hold identical 5-2 records to sit in second place. Seattle U and UMKC are next at 3-4, while Chicago State and Grand Canyon round out the league standings with respective 1-6 and 0-7 records.
After sweeping Chicago State for the 19th time in 21 tries on Oct. 12 (25-22, 25-22, 25-19), UVU followed that up with a 3-1 victory at UMKC on Oct. 14 (27-29, 25-14, 25-21, 25-18). The Wolverines posted a season-high .289 hitting percentage against the Cougars, as well as a near season-best .288 attack percentage two days later against the Kangaroos.
Senior Madison Dennison led the way by tallying an even .400 hitting clip on the week with 21 kills and 10 blocks, while fellow freshman Kristen Allred added 21 kills on .296 hitting and fellow senior Lexi Thompson added a team-high 27 kills on .286 hitting. After recording six kills and five blocks in the win over CSU, Dennison followed that performance up with a match-best 15 kills on .464 hitting and five blocks in the win at Kansas City.
Dennison leads the Wolverines on the season in hitting and blocking with a .317 season attack percentage and a total of 136 blocks and a 1.62 blocks per set clip. Her blocking tallies are also good enough to lead the entire nation in total blocks and rank her fourth in blocks per set average.
Thompson paces UVU on the year in kills with a 3.46 per set clip, while Sierra Starley fronts the squad in assists with an average of 10.04 per set.
Saturday's match against Seattle U will mark the second season meeting between the two league foes. In the conference opener on Sept. 23, in Seattle, Utah Valley pulled out a 3-0 sweep (25-17, 25-21, 25-21), and Dennison led the way with a match-high 14 kills and six blocks.
About Seattle U
The Redhawks come to Orem with a 7-13 overall record and a 3-4 league mark. SU has won two of its last three contests after earning a five-set home victory over league-leading UTRGV on Oct. 7, and pulling out a 3-1 win at Chicago State last weekend. Seattle, which was picked to tie for fifth in the WAC this season, enters the weekend currently tied for the fifth place in the conference standings.
Katarina Marinkovic leads the Redhawks offensively with a 3.44 kills per set average, while Maja Stojanovic fronts the team at the net with a 1.08 blocks per set clip and Shae Harris paces the way in assists with 9.11 per set.
All-time series vs. Seattle U
Saturday's matchup against the Redhawks will mark the 13th all-time meeting between UVU and SU. Utah Valley enters play holding a 7-5 series advantage, a perfect 5-0 mark in Orem and having won four of the past five meetings.
Up next for UVU
Following Saturday's contest, the Wolverines remain home to host CSU Bakersfield and Grand Canyon next week. UVU will first take on CSUB on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m., before capping the three-match homestand against GCU on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 1 p.m.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.