UVU Volleyball has major test in home opener

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Face off against 9th-ranked BYU on Saturday night

Kyle McDonald | Sports editor | @kylesportsbias

After 11 straight matches on the road to open up the 2015-16 season, the Utah Valley University volleyball team returns home for their home opener on Saturday evening.  They have the task of opening up against the 9th-ranked team in the country and crosstown foe, BYU.

“First home game at home and we’re for sure going to be excited,” UVU head coach Sam Atoa said.  “To play in front of our own fans, it’s a tough task to be able to do that against the Cougars who are in the top-10.”

The Wolverines are 4-7 on the season and coming off a loss at Utah State on Tuesday night.  The Cougars are 9-1 and coming off a three-set sweep of Utah.

“When two teams like this get together all the stats and everything get set aside and you just kind of duke it out,” Atoa said.

UVU is led by senior middle blocker Lauren Bakker as well as outside hitters Macky Fifita, Lexi Thompson, and Abby Jensen and they will look to slow down and high powered BYU attack led by All-American Alexa Gray.

“BYU is playing very well,” Atoa said. “We welcome the opportunity and the challenge and so it should be a fun night tomorrow.”

The Cougars meanwhile come in with their only loss at 22nd-ranked USC earlier in the season and a top-10 ranking after finishing 3rd in the national polls just a year ago.  They lost All-American Jennifer Hamson but have continued to win.  New head coach Heather Olmstead is looking forward to the match and knows that UVU will be ready to play.

“It’s always a fun, competitive match when we play UVU,” Olmstead said. “Sam is a great coach and he will have his team well prepared.  We look forward to a battle Saturday night and our team will be ready.”

The match is set to start at 7 p.m. MT in the P.E. building on the campus of UVU.