Senior Lanni O’Reilly serves the ball in last weeks’ Green and White exhibition match. Randy Nielsen/UVU Review

Picked to finish in second, but striving for first

Coming off an excellent season where they finished second in the Great West Conference, the volleyball team is striving for its first GWC championship this season.

Returning nine players, two redshirt freshmen and welcoming two true freshmen, head coach Sam Atoa has a roster that is picked to finish second in the GWC, but is striving to finish first.

Among the returning players is all-star and newly married Kayli (Broadbent) Doxey, reigning GWC Player of the Year.

Seniors Kathleen Stevens and Lanni O’Reilly will be taking over the Libero position with no Allyce Jones on the roster this season.

Atoa split up his roster for a green and white exhibition match last Tuesday and the season was underway when freshman Patti Flagg, part of the white team, threw the ball in the air and served it over the net.

The roster competed against each other in the exhibition match with a small crowd in attendance. After three sets, the green team took the match in a 3-0 sweep.

Periodically throughout the match, Atoa allowed the teams a short timeout while he explained to those in attendance the purpose of playing a green and white exhibition match.

Atoa explained that they wanted to educate fans about the game, positions played and why the players did certain things.

After the match, free pizza and other food was offered for those in attendance while Atoa introduced his 2010 roster.

Competition officially began last weekend on the road as the Wolverines played in the Tiger Invitational in Columbia, Mo. taking on Nevada, Maryland and Missouri.

The Wolverines will play a match at Utah on Tuesday, Aug. 31 at 7:00 p.m. before returning to home court.

The team will play their first home game when they host Air Force on Friday, Sept. 3 in the Shurian Family Activity Center at 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 4 hosting Fresno State at 1:00 p.m.