Utah Valley University head women's volleyball coach Sam Atoa released his team's 2018 schedule on Wednesday and it features home contests against rivals Utah State, Weber State and Idaho State, as well as a full Western Athletic Conference slate.
The Wolverines will also face four 2017 NCAA Tournament teams this fall, as well as an additional exhibition contest against a fifth in neighboring rival BYU. During the 2018 campaign, UVU will face defending NCAA Tournament teams Oregon, NC State, in-state foe Utah, conference foe CSU Bakersfield and BYU for an exhibition match.
"We are excited for this year's schedule and for Cal Baptist to join the conference. This year we will have at least one home game in nine of the 13 weeks of competition. It is always great to play at home in front of our own fans. Playing this many times at home will help us promote volleyball and our program," Atoa said. "We will be a young team with just one senior, but we will have great young talent that will make a difference."
After a UCCU Crosstown Clash exhibition match at BYU on Aug. 18 and the annual Green and White scrimmage in Orem on Aug. 21, UVU will officially open its 2018 season at the Aggie Invitational at UC Davis on Aug. 24-25, in Davis, California. The Wolverines will first face Holy Cross, which hails from Worcester, Massachusetts, and the host UC Davis Aggies on Aug. 24, before capping the opening weekend tournament against Northern Arizona of the Big Sky Conference on Aug. 25. Utah Valley will then come home for its 2018 home opener on Tuesday, Aug. 28, against Idaho State.
The Wolverines will again hit the road for another preseason weekend tournament at Pac-12 foe Oregon on Aug. 31-Sept. 1. That weekend, UVU will face the host Ducks and Arkansas Pine Bluff on Aug. 31, before capping the weekend against the Long Beach State 49ers on Sept. 1. Utah Valley will again return home for a midweek match against in-state rival Utah State on Tuesday, Sept. 4, before heading to North Carolina for the NC State/Campbell Invitational on Sept. 6-7. UVU will open the weekend with a match at Campbell of the Big South Conference on Sept. 6, before heading to Raleigh for matches at the host NC State Wolfpack and a neutral contest versus Appalachian State on Sept. 7.
UVU will return to Lockhart Arena for another in-state midweek home match against Weber State on Tuesday, Sept. 11, before making the quick trip to Salt Lake City for an in-state, non-conference contest against the Utah Utes on Friday, Sept. 14.
After tying for third place in the 2017 WAC standings with a 9-5 conference record and a 15-16 overall record, the Wolverines will begin their fifth season of competition in the Western Athletic Conference the following week when they host league foe Chicago State in the 2018 conference opener on Sept. 20. UVU opens conference play with three-straight home matches, as it will also welcome UMKC and newcomer Cal Baptist to town on Sept. 22 and Sept. 27, respectively. The Wolverines' first league road trip will take them to the defending WAC Tournament champion CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners (Sept. 29), Seattle U (Oct. 4) and Grand Canyon (Oct. 6).
UVU will then host UT Rio Grande Valley on Oct. 11, before heading to Las Cruces for a match at the defending regular-season WAC champion New Mexico State Aggies on Oct. 18. The Wolverines will again face all eight WAC foes during the next month and will have home contests against Seattle U on Oct. 25, NM State on Nov. 3, CSUB on Nov. 15 and GCU on Nov. 17. The 2018 WAC Tournament will then begin on Thanksgiving Day and run Nov. 22-24, at the Icardo Center in Bakersfield, California. The winner of the tournament will earn the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.