Prepping of the Kill: Volleyball Preps for Pre-season Challenges

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Kenzie Jones, Sports Editor, @KenzieScribbler

First appearing in print August 25, 2014.

The Utah Valley Wolverines have been making a name for themselves over the past year as the athletic programs joined the Western Athletic Conference. Volleyball is no outlier to this. After sporting an 11-5 record for their inaugural year of play in the new conference, the Lady Wolverines are excited to perform even better this coming season.

After leaving behind a not too shabby record in conference play last year, the volleyball team wants more from themselves. These female athletes have been hard at work, training to become a better team than last year. Coach Atoa said, “We’ve experienced WAC play and now we hope to be able to do what needs to be done to become the better team at the end of the year.”

UVU’s volleyball team is being lead by returning seniors Jaramey Barney, Kalani Norris, McKenna Tait, and Cassie Wahlin. All seventeen girls who make up this year’s roster are pumped to go out and show what a being a lady wolverine means. They have quite the record to live up to and, of course, surpass. After all, part of being a UVU athlete is to always strive to become better than your best.

The Lady Wolverines will be spiking off their pre-season at the Kansas Invitational in Lawrence, Kansas the weekend of August 29-30.  Tournaments like this one give the team a chance to see where they are at compared to some of the top-tiered teams in the nation from last year.

2013 NCAA Volleyball Tournament was a history race for the two teams listed above. Neither team had made it to the Regional Semifinals—or as that round is affectionately known, the Sweet 16—before in the life of their programs. While Kansas’s Lady Jayhawks became the history makers for their program, Creighton walked off the court planning to come back and make program history the following year. The Lady Bluejays only graduated one player last season, making all the players personally thirsty for that Sweet 16 spot this season.

Creighton and Kansas are two of those teams the Lady Wolverines will face in pre-season play. Going up against both 2013 Sweet 16 bids in their first tournament hasn’t made the female athletes of UVU’s volleyball team any more nervous for the event. They’re training for it just like they would regardless, because there is no competition unless it’s steep competition for the Lady Wolverines. They are ready to jump right on the court and throw their own weight around.

Going up against both teams who were playing to become Regional Semifinalist for the NCAA Tournament a year ago is not just a chance to see if they can hold their own against a nationally ranked team, but an opportunity to make a name for themselves and for UVU. Digging down and nailing this opportunity will also aid the team in reaching their goal of becoming a better team at the end of the season. The mental edge gained over their opponents in conference play will make getting a better record at the end of the season even easier.

As these pre-season matches roll closer, it’s time to get pumped and ready to cheer the UVU’s volleyball team to some wins. In so doing, proving once again that Utah Valley University has athletic programs to remember and be on the lookout for.

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