OREM, Utah — Utah Valley University women's volleyball coach Sam Atoa has announced his team's 2019 schedule and it features the hosting of the annual Wolverine Invitational as well as the 2019 WAC Volleyball Tournament. UVU will also host in-state foes Utah and Weber State at Lockhart Arena and a total of 12 home matches during the regular season.
The schedule will mark another challenging one for the Wolverines, as they will face a total of five returning NCAA Tournament teams in BYU, Utah, Hawai'i, Marquette and conference foe New Mexico State. UVU, who reached the WAC Tournament title match a season ago and earned a bid to the program's first national postseason appearance by qualifying for the National Invitational Volleyball Championship, will also face a total of four in-state opponents on the year in Brigham Young, Utah, Utah State and Weber State.
"Putting together the schedule is always a challenge, especially in the preseason. We were on the road a lot last season, so we are excited to be close to home in three of the four weekends during preseason this year," Atoa said. "With the schedule that we have put in place and the teams that we are playing, it should really help prepare us for conference play. We're also looking forward to hosting the WAC Tournament for the first time and we hope that our success throughout the season will help prepare us for that weekend."
UVU will open the 2019 campaign in Provo to take part at neighboring foe Brigham Young's BYU Invitational. There, the Wolverines will face a pair of 2018 NCAA Tournament teams on opening day in Marquette and BYU on Friday, Aug. 30. Utah Valley will then close the tough opening event by taking on Mountain West foe Boise State on Saturday, Aug. 31. After a midweek road match at Idaho State on Sept. 3, UVU will then return to Orem to host the four-team Wolverine Invitational on Sept. 6-7 at Lockhart Arena. The Wolverines will take on both Portland State and UC Davis on Sept. 6, before closing the home-opening event against the in-state and Pac-12 foe Utes on Sept. 7.
The following week (Sept. 12-14), the Wolverines will head for the islands to take part in Hawai'i's Outrigger Resorts Volleyball Challenge. While in Oahu, UVU will face a pair of Power Five Conference foes in UCLA and West Virginia, as well as the always-tough Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine. The Wolverines will then return to the Beehive State the following week for its final non-conference matches of the season with a road match at Utah State on Sept. 18, before hosting Weber State in Orem the following night on Sept. 19.
UVU will then open its quest to win its first WAC title the following week at home when it welcomes the defending WAC Tournament champion New Mexico State Aggies to town for the WAC opener on Sept. 26. The Wolverines will then host the defending WAC regular-season champion UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros later that weekend on Sept. 28, before hitting the road to face CSU Bakersfield on Oct. 3 and Grand Canyon on Oct. 5 the following weekend.
The Wolverines will then open a four-match homestand the next week when it welcomes UMKC to town on Oct. 10 and California Baptist on Oct. 12. UVU will then have a rare Monday home match when it faces Chicago State on Oct. 14, before capping the homestand against Seattle U on Oct. 19. Utah Valley will then begin its second half of conference play at NM State and UTRGV the following weekend and will close its 2019 regular season at California Baptist on Saturday, Nov. 16.
Utah Valley will host the WAC Volleyball Tournament for the first time in program history Nov. 21-23 at Lockhart Arena. The top six eligible teams will qualify for the conference championship event. A season ago, the Wolverines advanced to the WAC title match for the second time in the past three seasons after entering the tournament as the No. 4 seed. UVU then capped its 2018 season with a 20-win season for the first time since 2011 and recorded the program's first postseason victory with an opening-round win over the host Wyoming Cowgirls in the NIVC.Comment on this story
UVU will officially begin its 2019 season by hosting the annual Green & White Scrimmage at Lockhart Arena on Aug. 27.
"Getting to the finals in the conference tournament and then going to the NIVC a season ago was great for us," Atoa added. "I feel like being able to go through those experiences last season will help us this year. It really helped our team realize that our plan is to play in the postseason. We look forward to the opportunity to prepare for the 2019 season and we're excited to have our core nucleus returning for us."