Utah Valley University athletics has not always been able to accomplish all that it has this past year.
It’s not every year that UVU has two baseball players get drafted into major league clubs. It’s not every year that Utah Valley ranked in the top 30 in the NCAA rankings. It’s not every year that the Wolverines go on an unprecedented 32-game winning streak.
But this past year they did. And the nation is taking note of it.
After a baseball season that saw UVU win 40 of their last 41 games, the Wolverines sat in front of their televisions on Memorial Day to see if they, as Great West Champions, would have another title opportunity in the NCAA Regional.
Unfortunately for the Wolverines, they were told that they wouldn’t be playing for a national title because their schedule was not difficult enough.
That didn’t stop the Wolverines from still making an impact in the offseason. Relief pitcher Taylor Mangum was able to ink a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers while fellow teammate Goose Kallunki was drafted by the San Diego Padres.
However, Kallunki’s recognition didn’t stop there.
Kallunki was first named to the Louisville Slugger All-America Team before being selected by the Padres. He was then named the District VIII Player of the Year. According to wolverinegreen.com:
“Kallunki, a consensus All-American, also received first-team distinction from the National College Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and was named to the third-team by Baseball America and Perfect Game.”
The Utah Valley Wolverines ended their season ranked 27th in the nation. This helped show some national recognition as ESPN as well as College Insiders included the Wolverines in their conversations surrounding the college national playoffs. With seniors moving on in their lives, the Wolverines look to continue that string of national acknowledgment with a new pool of juniors and seniors. UVU will also bring back head coach Eric Madsen who signed a 4-year extension with the team.
Utah Valley has had a great year in athletics, but none like that of the baseball program. With the nation now looking on to see if they can repeat the success they had this year in the following season, the Wolverines will be playing as if it were an audition. And this time, as always, the pressure is on to succeed, but even more so this upcoming year.