Every team across the country pursues the goal of winning championships, and it’s what drives athletes to perform their best. The UVU Women’s Volleyball team is no stranger to success, having won back-to-back GWC championships and look to make a splash in the upcoming inaugural season in the WAC by adding a new trophy to the collection.
The Wolverines were projected to finish third, not exactly the spot one hopes for when having a championship in mind, but that doesn’t seem to phase their way of thinking in being able to achieve the goal of winning.
“Regardless of whether the coaches feel we are first, second or ninth, we will accomplish what we want,” explained head coach Sam Atoa. “We haven’t played many of these teams, and they don’t know a lot about us.
Projected third isn’t all that bad of a place to start for the Wolverines. They may have not have faced their opponents in the past, but when the last two remaining WAC teams from a year ago, New Mexico State and Idaho, are the only teams predicted to finish ahead of UVU, it shows a level of respect for this program.
However, the ultimate goal is not to finish in third place. Athletes don’t go out to practice and sacrifice so much time to be third best and have a participation trophy. Of course, there will be challenges for the team to be an immediate factor in the conference, and it’s a challenge that the team is ready for
“We feel we can set our goal to win the WAC,” Atoa said. “It’s a huge challenge and everyone needs to be focused to get there and we are. We look at it as why not? Why should it be someone else, why not us?”
This team is built to make a championship run, with most of the team returning this season. Brookelyn Hall and Lauren Stringham were announced to the preseason All-Conference team. The team also has the leadership of Katie Fritzler, a senior to help this young team to continue to have success.
“I look to Brookelyn and Katie our seniors to be leaders,” Atoa said. “Their leadership is crucial to helping a team heavy in freshmen and sophomores. And also [I’m] looking to them to help make this inaugural year a good one.”
While it’s uncertain how the Wolverines will actually fare this season, having not played many of the teams in the conference, their confidence is riding high. For a team that has won recent championships and returns various key contributors, there is a lot to be excited about.
The Wolverines will open up play at home on Aug. 30 with Wichita State, Arizona State and North Dakota State visiting in the La Quinta Inn Suites Invitational.
Garrett is native of Orem, Utah. He is a graduate of Timpanogos High School. While in high school, Garrett enjoyed playing sports and was a double lettered athlete in football in wrestling. After a short stint of college football at Dixie State, Garrett made his way back to Utah Valley in pursuit of his aspirations of becoming a sports journalist. Garrett has been contributing for the UVU Review for three years and has covered sports, specializing in wrestling. Garrett is married to Jodi Coleman and served an LDS mission to Baguio Philippines. You can follow him on twitter @legendgary