The fans here at UVU won’t be seeing Erica Nish spike the ball much this season, nor will they see Brookelyn Hall set someone up for a kill. They won’t even see head coach Sam Atoa cheering his team on from the sidelines, that is, unless they have enough gas in their tank to follow the Wolverines around the country. The women’s volleyball team hit the road after defeating the Weber State Wildcats on Tuesday.
To put it in perspective, this upcoming road trip will last a total of 37 days, which accumulates to a total of 888 hours. They will be journeying a total of 6,204 miles from Orem during these 37 days. Even for Nish, who’s been with the team for four years, believes this is a long time to be on the road.
“This is going to be a new experience,” Nish explained. “I have never been here when we have this many away games. Road trips are really fun. We get to spend time with the team. It takes a lot more focus getting the job done.”
No matter how fun it is, though, the team understands the importance of consistency. And with the myriad locations the Wolverines will be playing, it will be hard to get any sort of consistency, on the environment at the very least.
“We’re on the road a lot this year,” Atoa said regarding the schedule. “This really changes things quite a bit with how we play.”
When the Wolverines played the Wildcats on Tuesday night, it looked like the first time that the team really started to come together. They were taking care of the line, out-blocking Weber State 16-4. They committed fewer errors on the floor and looked consistent all throughout the game in kills to defeat Weber State in three straight sets. But with this long road trip ahead of them, they need to continue to mesh well together if they want to be successful against the likes of UC Davis, UNLV and Utah State.
“We’re looking forward to every single team that we’re going to compete against,” Atoa said. “We have certain goals and our goal is we can’t look past anybody. We focus on one team at a time. We’re going to take it one step at a time. If we can keep our focus that way, I think we’re going to be okay.”
With a rocky start but a smooth ending to their homestead, Utah Valley looks to continue their winning ways throughout the season and go for more than just winning games. Just ask Nish.
“We are looking forward to taking the conference championship and we want to win the tournament.”