While football rules the country during fall semester, UVU has its soccer teams headlining the UVU Review. Now that football season is over and the soccer teams are done playing, there’s still plenty in the spring semester for students to look forward to.
In head coach Mark Pope’s second year he’s lived up to his mindset of being the best by beating the best. UVU faced tough opponents on their nonconference schedule. They started the season by playing the red-hot Gonzaga Bulldogs and followed that with two Pac-12 opponents and several in-state opponents. UVU fared better than most expected, with wins over BYU and Denver University. Conference play is now underway and it’s time to see if taking on a harder nonconference schedule will lead to conference success.
After pulling in their first-ever WAC Tournament win last season, the Wolverines had a lot to look forward to. Stumbling out of the gate, UVU got hot at the right time and entered conference play 4-2 in its last six nonconference games. Getting hot at the right time is what sports are all about. Former WAC Freshman of the Year Mariah Seals leads the charge with an otherwise very young team.
While star seniors Jade Rauser, Chasen Tolbert and Derek Thomas may have graduated, the wrestling team isn’t any less intriguing. The Wolverines won their home opener against five-time Pac-12 champs Oregon State, and hung tight with No. 23 Northern Iowa. After starting the season 2-2, and beating DII No. 6 Nebraska-Kearney, UVU is off to a solid start. Former four-time Utah 4A state champion Raider Lofthouse is an upcoming star, along with sophomore Mitch Brown, redshirt freshman Tanner Orndorff and junior Dustin Dennison.
Besides winning the WAC Tournament last season, UVU did a lot of things to get the fans pumped for next season. Sweeping Utah and having Danny Beddes drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates are just a few accomplishments they had last season. UVU is returning several starters including senior pitcher Logan Hold, lead-off hitter Trevor Howell, and senior catcher Zac Willis. Baseball play starts Feb. 17 in Wichita, Kansas.
TJ Hubbard takes the reins of the softball team and debuts as head coach this season. Hubbard has been coaching for six seasons, most recently at Big 12 contender Kansas. Hubbard inherits a team that failed to impress last season in the win column, but the roster isn’t without talent. No one knows how well this team will play under Hubbard, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on.
My name is Adam Cichoski, I’m a junior at UVU studying Journalism. Sports is my passion, especially football. I’m originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. My plan after school is to pursue a job in sports journalism.