With a little game teaser to finish off Utah Valley’s 12-match road stretch, the women’s volleyball team survived a 0-2 set deficit two weeks ago against in-state rival Utah State as they defeated the Aggies 3-2.
Although the Aggies stayed strong the first two sets, it just wasn’t enough for them to keep up with UVU as they finished them off.
“I felt like we weren’t very competitive in the first two sets,” said head coach Sam Atoa. “We made a lot of mistakes. I think our intensity was not where we needed it to be for sure.”
As the Wolverines fell short of the first two sets, giving up wasn’t an answer. The team took a look back two years ago when a similar game occurred against Utah State. With the same scenario in mind, some changes had to be made.
“Two years ago we were down by losing two sets and I informed the girls that the only reason there was a change was because there was a change of intensity and urgency on the court,” Atoa said. “We kept feeding belief in them, that this is ours and we can do this.”
The team did in fact make those changes and defeated the Aggies in the fifth set.
“I was real proud of them being able to believe in themselves and turn that around,” Atoa said.
After an exciting win in Logan, the Wolverines traveled back to Orem where they took on NJIT.
With a fall break on the players’ minds, there was no break on the court, UVU ended their weekend off right with a 3-2 win against NJIT.
“We did some very good things throughout the match, particularly throughout the second and third set,” Atoa said. “We controlled what happened at the net and that’s what is key.”
It’s been a month since the Wolverines stepped back into their Orem territory, but the excitement still floods the court as they get ready to take on Chicago State and CSU Bakersfield.
“To get back on the court with Chicago state should be fun for us and try to be better,” Atoa said. “We’re thriving on every opportunity we have to play at home since we haven’t had that many opportunities to. So we’re excited to still be at home this week and next.”
UVU has more in store for them than ever as they have been recently invited into the Western Athletic Conference. UVU will be leaving the Great West Conference and will be joining the WAC for the 2013 season.
“I think that it is another step forward as far as the goals have been for this athletic program,” Atoa said. “It completes the picture. It gets us into a reputable conference that allows us to compete closer, its logistics suited better for us.”
Not only will it give the Wolverines a better opportunity to play more competitive teams, but it will help give the volleyball team better recruiting as well as helping with the fan base and gate receipts due to higher competition and reputation the conference has.
“We are real thrilled and excited because it gives us an opportunity to play for the post season,” Atoa said. “Not that we can’t right now but it’s very difficult to do that with an at-large bid. We are excited for the possibilities and extension of our season.”