This year’s team is dominated by youth, featuring seven freshmen and four sophomores. The four returning seniors and lone junior will be looked to early and often to provide leadership for this team, according to UVU head coach Sam Atoa. With the scheduling quirk of having nine home matches in a row to begin the season, the Wolverines have an opportunity to get out to a fast start.
“We have our first nine matches at home. That is an opportunity that not many teams have, ever,” Atoa said.
Last year’s leading scorer Kayli Doxey is gone and leaves a large void to fill. Looking to fill it will be three seniors: Sarah Clement, Chelsey Heaps, and Jaicee Kuresa.
Heaps led the team last year in kills with 294, was fourth in assists and the second leading scorer overall.
“As a senior you get the opportunity to step up and take a leadership role,” Heaps said. “It’s an opportunity to be a go-to player.”
Clement is the second-leading returner in scoring and kills. She and Jaicee Kuresa, the third-leading returning scorer and point-getter from last year, will look to fill the holes left by the departed upperclassmen from last year’s team.
Looking to assist in all of that scoring is setter Brookelyn Campbell, the teams leading assist woman a year ago. She returns looking to improve upon a solid freshman campaign after notching 102 kills and 1,074 assists.
Atoa will also look to his large influx of freshmen to round out the rotation.
“The freshmen are doing better than expected at this point,” praised Coach Atoa. “It remains to be seen how they will handle the pressure that comes with playing major programs at home and on the road.”