Photo by Byron Harward
After a relatively slow start to the 2016 season, the UVU volleyball team caught fire, winning 11 of its final 13 games and earning a second-place regular season finish in the WAC. The Wolverines entered the conference tournament with the second seed and, after winning their opening match, and found themselves in the championship match against UTRGV with the winner punching a ticket to the NCAA Tournament. While its championship bid came up just short, UVU showed fight, will and determination.
One of the players who stepped up in a big way to help fuel the red-hot run of the 2016 Wolverines is outside hitter Lexi Thompson.
A senior from South Jordan, Thompson enjoyed a breakout junior season during which she notched 327 kills to lead the team. She also recorded 73 blocks, 110 digs, 12 service aces and 378 total points. Her eye-popping stat line was rewarded with conference player of the week honors once for the week of Nov. 7 following a 16-kill performance in a 3-2 win over Weber State. She received a second-team all-conference nod at season’s end, and was voted to the preseason all-conference team for 2017.
At the conclusion of her senior season, Thompson hopes to be a first-team all-conference selection.
“Individual awards are something that really give you a confidence boost and let you know that your hard work is going somewhere,” she said.
By playing well enough to be recognized as an all-conference performer, she feels she will be contributing to the accomplishment of her team’s primary goals, namely winning the conference regular season title and the postseason conference tournament championship.
For all of her on-court accomplishments, Thompson has excelled in the classroom as well. A communication major on track to graduate in May, she garnered academic all-conference honors last season.
Thompson calls her playing career at UVU “honestly indescribable.”
“The best experience and opportunities are provided here,” she said. “I love the girls I play with so much. We’re just a big group of sisters and friends.”
The stage seems to be set for the senior to pick up right where she left off after the 2016 season. She is leading the team in kills with 90, including 19 in a match against Idaho State earlier this year. The outstanding play of Thompson has helped UVU to a .500 record this year. Even with several tough tests remaining on the schedule, the Wolverines are gaining confidence as the conference opener approaches.
The next chance to see Thompson and the rest of the Wolverine spikers play at home is Sept. 15 and 16 when the Wolverines host in-state rivals Utah and BYU, who are nationally ranked at No. 18 and No. 10, respectively.