When UVU announced the acceptance into the Western Athletic Conference last October, the fans inside the UCCU center went nuts. It has been five months since, and it is now time to go nuts again because in just four months, UVU will start playing in the WAC. Playing in the WAC can truly be a turning point for UVU athletics as we know it.
As basketball season, for both men and women, comes to a close and the wrestling season looks forward to the NCAA tournament, it is no surprise that attention should turn to the new conference that will grace the hallways and walls of the UCCU Center. The good people at WolverineGreen.com said it best after the announcement was made that “the move comes on the heels of a banner year for UVU Athletics. The Wolverine baseball team won 32 consecutive games … the third longest streak in NCAA baseball history. In the 2011 and 2012 school years, UVU produced six All-American athletes: Chris Benson (baseball), Billy Burgess (baseball), Austin Heaps (baseball), Kallunki (baseball), Ben Kjar (wrestling) and Isaiah Williams (men’s basketball).”
The WAC is getting a remodel with every school except New Mexico State University and Seattle University; they are departing for other conferences. But UVU will enter the conference with pride and confidence alongside current conference rivals, Texas-Pan American and Chicago State, which will continue their rivalries in a much more important conference. Important because of the automatic qualifying bids if they win their conference.
The UVU baseball team was left out of the NCAA postseason because of their strength of schedule, despite holding the best NCAA record in 2012 and beating then No. 4 Arizona, who ended up winning the College World Series. This year, they beat the national champions again, away from their own land in Arizona. If the baseball team can pull of the same thing they did last year next year, they can be recognized on national television and compete for their first ever NCAA championship trophy.
The women are doing fairly well in their respective sports, with the soccer and volleyball
team both winning their GWC tournaments and the basketball team winning the regular season title. The teams are hoping to continue that success on a national level as they compete in the WAC next season.
The men’s basketball team has been on a roller coaster as of late but still has tons of potential to compete on a national level. March Madness is always an exciting time in collegiate sports, and the Wolverines are hoping to one day be competing against the best of them on the big stage.
Then there’s the new men’s soccer team, which is the first sport to be added to UVU athletics in 10 years. With a head coach on board, Greg Maas, and plenty of soccer talent in the Valley, UVU looks to be competitive when they start play in the fall of 2014. The Wolverines are not just taking steps. They are taking strides in NCAA recognition and they’re hoping that the WAC can give them what they want.