For their first tournament, the Wolverines went across town to BYU’s Smith Fieldhouse.
To start the tournament, UVU was swept by the No. 16 team in the country Marquette, on the morning of Friday, Aug. 30.
Match two for the tournament took place at 7:30 Friday evening, with UVU playing against crosstown rival Brigham Young University. The Cougars have won all 13 contests against UVU in the past and ended last years season ranked fourth in the AVCA coaches’ poll.
UVU came in undaunted with some outstanding energy. Smiles and laughter is a must with these Wolverines; smiles and some intense defense. Throughout the night it was a match full of blocks and digs. The UVU duo of senior Makaila Jarema and sophomore Kazna Tarawhiti brought in 13 blocks between the two of them — eight for Jarema, five for Tarawhiti. All the while, UVU junior Seren Merrill threw herself into nine beautiful digs.
Set after set ended tight with scores of 21-25, 21-25 and 20-25. With BYU winning 3-0 overall. UVU’s overall team points were only 2.5 behind BYU — 51.5-49. Tarawhiti, true to her record of 558 kills during her true freshman campaign, showed up in this match to bring 11 kills and an ace. Including a memorable kill that had bounced off the ceiling and called good by refs.
“I’m proud of the way the team battled tonight. We gave ourselves chances in all three sets, which only happened because we came prepared to work hard and fight. Even with the loss, good things are happening on the court, and I couldn’t be more excited for this teams future,” said UVU head coach Sam Atoa.
We are excited too! With four new freshmen, these first games show clear indication that these Wolverines are ready to show up and dominate all season.
Game three of the tournament will take place Aug. 31 at 12 p.m. MST as the Wolverines play Boise State University.
Photos by Natasha Colburn