The Utah Valley baseball team started off their 2020 season on the wrong foot as they lost four straight games against the Abilene Christian Wildcats in Abilene, Texas last weekend. The series started on Friday, Feb. 14 and went through Sunday, Feb. 16, with a double-header on Saturday.
Jabari Rice at the buzzer. That’s the phrase that ended the game between Utah Valley and New Mexico State at the Pan American Center. The NMSU sophomore guard saved the day in what would have been a sensational win for UVU on the road. The final score on Saturday, Feb. 15 was 84-82.
Going into this game, UVU had won a whopping 15 straight games over UTRGV. The last time the Vaqueros were able to knock off the Wolverines was a two-point win in January of 2013 in Edinburg.
The two day 36-hole event was held at St. George’s Sunbrook Golf Club on a 6,781-yard, par-72 course. Local teams included Southern Utah, Utah State and Weber State; individuals were also sent from Brigham Young and Utah. UVU also competed against Air Force, Creighton, North Dakota, Northern Colorado, Seattle, Stetson, Western Illinois and Youngstown State.
“They’ve got it all.” “It was easy for them to get there.” “They don’t have to work as hard now.” “They’re athletes so they probably don’t focus much on school anyways.” Those are phrases often associated with student athletes. If you know Utah Valley University athletes, you’d know it’d be hard for those phrases to fit them — especially UVU wrestlers Koy Wilkinson, a junior, and Chase Trussell, a freshman.
Following a two week break from competition the Utah Valley University track and field teams ventured to Colorado Springs on Feb. 7 for the Air Force Team Challenge. The Wolverines finished third on the men’s team and fourth for the women in a day that the feared distance squads raced at Idaho State. Several individuals shined during the weekend meet bringing continued pride to UVU.
Despite their 1-9 team record entering the dual, the Wolverines have four wrestlers ranked in the national top-25, with sophomore Tate Orndorff ranked fourth in the heavyweight division. The team suffered their 10th loss of the season in a 20-15 contest, but UVU’s ranked wrestlers continued their dominant seasons as all four won their respective matches.
After dropping both a home dual the weekend prior to No. 22 Stanford University, and a quick turnaround road dual at Wyoming University two days later, Utah Valley attempted to rebound in a Big 12 matchup. It was on Thursday night, Jan. 30 that the Wolverines dropped yet another dual this time to the Air Force Academy in a 22-14 thriller.
If one were to peer through the gates of UCCU Ballpark today, they would likely see bulldozers tearing up the outfield grass and molding the underlying soil into 8-foot tall mounds — not what one might expect from a field set to host Wolverine home games in a month. A new artificial playing surface will be installed prior to UVU’s home opener on Tuesday, March 10, but the current state of the ballpark seems to mirror a transitioning team with high aspirations.
Boise State hosted Utah Valley University and several other local teams at their annual Ed Jacoby indoor track meet on Jan. 24-25. The meet was by far the biggest so far for the Wolverines as they competed against 20 other teams. The Wolverines —who performed well over the weekend — showed that they’ll be able to compete as a complete team to potentially win the WAC championship next month.