UVU top 10 sports moments of 2015

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The Wolverines’ year in review

Utah Valley has seen a lot of success with a lot of their athletic teams in 2015. As we start a new year, I would like to take some time to review the 10 biggest moments of the year for the Wolverines.

  1. Wrestling upsets no. 18 Oregon State Beavers

UVU wrestling went into Corvallis, OR as underdogs, but came out as 20-19 victors against the nationally ranked Oregon State Beavers. With wins by decision from Chasen Tolbert and Jarod Maynes, major decisions by Raider Lofthouse and Derek Thomas, and a technical fall by Ross Taylor, the Wolverines proved they can compete with anyone and have the fight to live in the Big 12.

  1. Women’s basketball comes back late against San Francisco, men’s basketball beats Weber State in double OT

The women’s team showed their guts and grit while hosting the San Francisco Dons. The Wolverines were in a 57-39 hole entering the fourth quarter, but guard Mariah Seals scored 24 of her career-high 33 points in the quarter and overtime to lead UVU all the way back for a 94-88 win.wbb12.10.15.JulieOstler-7

After overcoming two seven-point deficits inside the final two minutes of regulation and the first overtime, the men’s basketball team forced the Weber State Wildcats to a second overtime. The Wolverines dominated the final five minutes of play by outscoring the Wildcats 15-12, including 7-for-7 shooting from the field.

  1. Three wrestlers qualify for NCAA Championships

UVU wrestlers Ethan Smith, Jade Rauser, and Chasen Tolbert earned their way to the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, MO in March. Rauser completed his third run at Nationals with a 1-2 record, while Smith and Tolbert finished at 0-2.

  1. Men’s track and field wins the WAC Triple Crown

In the 2014-15 academic year, UVU men’s track claimed WAC Titles in cross country, indoor, and outdoor track, giving them the conference “triple crown.”DSC_8568 Michael McPherson, McKay Burnett, and Cole Eisenhour led the indoor campaign with wins in the heptathlon, weight throw, and 60m hurdles, respectively. UVU was led to an outdoor title with wins in seven events including Nicholas Taylor in the 100m and Michael Ashton in pole vault.

  1. Softball no-hits BYU

As the bright spot in a season where UVU finished the season 18-41, pitcher Bailey Moore struck out two and walked five in five innings of work as she no-hit the BYU Cougars in a 13-0 win. The Wolverines scored four runs in the top of the fifth inning, thanks to a Hailey Kofler grand slam, to take UVU to the final margin and win the first of three meetings on the season against the Cougars.

  1. Men and women win WAC Cross Country Championships

The Wolverines swept the conference championships with Jason Lynch and Sam Heaton winning individual titles and leading UVU to both the men and women’s conference titles. The 2015 conference title was the third-straight for the men’s team.

  1. Wrestling joins the Big 12

On July 29, 2015, UVU athletics officially announced that the Wolverines would be leaving the Western Wrestling Conference after 12 years and joining the Big 12 as one of six new wrestling affiliates.IMG_0566 With the Big 12 name attached to UVU wrestling, the program will garner national attention and big name recruits.

  1. Men’s soccer gets UVU’s first top-25 ranking, program’s first NCAA tournament bid

In just the second year of NCAA Division I competition, UVU men’s soccer finished the season with an overall record of 14-6-2 while earning a top-25 ranking midway through the season. The Wolverines finished the season with a second-place finish in the WAC Championship and a 2-0 loss to SMU in their first-ever NCAA tournament. The 2015 season was a huge step in building the soccer program for the future.

  1. Women’s soccer wins WAC Championship, earns automatic bid to NCAA Tournament

UVU women’s soccer ran through the WAC Tournament with back-to-back 2-0 wins over the Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos and the Seattle U Redhawks on their way to the Wolverines’ first-ever WAC Championship.unnamed-1 Head coach Brent Anderson earned his 100th win with UVU’s win over Seattle U. The Wolverines then played cross-town rival BYU in the first round of the tournament, but fell in a 1-0 heartbreaker to the Cougars.

  1. Hiring Mark Pope as men’s basketball coach

UVU basketball made a splash in the media on March 31 by naming NCAA Champion and NBA veteran Mark Pope head coach of Wolverines basketball. Coach Pope most recently served as an assistant to head coach Dave Rose’s staff at BYU, but joined UVU as a rookie head coach. “Mark is a tireless worker and will be an outstanding head coach,” Louisville Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino said of his former player in a statement to wolverinegreen.com. “I loved coaching him every second of his career.” Coach Pope is ushering in a new era of UVU basketball and expects to take the Wolverines to heights they have never reached before.

2015 brought UVU new feats that have never been accomplished in the history of the athletic program. Here’s to another year of fantastic Wolverine sports ahead of us.