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UVU volleyball: Wolverines release 2015 volleyball schedule

Sierra Starley (center, No. 2) and her UVU teammates celebrate after defeating UMKC in four sets last season at the PE Building in Orem.
Sierra Starley (center, No. 2) and her UVU teammates celebrate after defeating UMKC in four sets last season at the PE Building in Orem.
Linsey Craig, UVU Athletics

Utah Valley University women's volleyball head coach Sam Atoa released his team's 2015 schedule, which includes a home match against the 2014 national runner-up and neighboring rival BYU as well as preseason tournaments at Washington State, Pepperdine and North Dakota State.

"Due to scheduling conflicts, we don't have as many home matches as we would've liked on this year's schedule. But I feel like if we can learn to win on the road then we can be very successful at our preseason tournaments," Atoa said. "With as many road matches that we have, I feel like this year's schedule will really help prepare us for the conference season as well as the conference tournament."

The Wolverines open the season at the Pepperdine Asics Classic in Malibu, California, on Aug. 28-29, for a trio of matches against the host Waves, UC Santa Barbara and Incarnate Word. After a midweek contest at Idaho State the following week (Sept. 1), UVU heads to Fargo, North Dakota, to take part at the NDSU Invitational on Sept. 4-5. There, the Wolverines face the host Bison, Milwaukee and Towson.

Utah Valley closes its preseason tournament schedule one week later at the Washington State Cougar Classic in Pullman, Washington. UVU takes on Ball State and Morehead State on Sept. 11, before concluding the weekend tournament against the Pac-12 Cougars on Sept. 12.

UVU heads to Logan the following week for its first in-state contest of the season against Utah State on Sept. 15. The Wolverines continue in-state play later that week, as they welcome the defending West Coast Conference Champion BYU Cougars to town for their home opener on Sept. 19.

"We're excited for the opportunity to host BYU in our home opener this year. They had incredible success last season, as they finished just one match short of winning it all," Atoa said. "We're also looking forward to our other in-state matches as there is always a lot of electricity and excitement in the building anytime we play one another."

The Wolverines then begin their third season of Western Athletic Conference play the very next week when they head to Chicago and Kansas City for conference matches against Chicago State and the defending WAC Champion Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos. UVU then welcomes the 2014 WAC Tournament champs and NCAA qualifier CSU Bakersfield to town for its home conference opener on Oct. 1. The contest begins a three-match home stand for the Wolverines, as they also host Grand Canyon (Oct. 3) and Seattle U (Oct. 10) during the stretch.

Following road matches at New Mexico State on Oct. 15 and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (formerly Texas-Pan American) on Oct. 17, UVU welcomes UMKC and CSU to town on Oct. 22 and 24, respectively. The Wolverines then step out of conference play for their final non-conference contest of the season on Oct. 26, to take on in-state foe Weber State in Ogden.

After away league matches at GCU (Oct. 29), CSUB (Oct. 31) and SU (Nov. 7), UVU closes its regular season by hosting UTRGV and NM State on Nov. 12 and 14, respectively.

The WAC Tournament is in Kansas City this year and will be hosted by UMKC. The top six teams from the regular season standings will advance to the tournament (excluding Grand Canyon) with a conference tournament championship and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament on the line.

"We know we've got to be the better team on the road this year, and with that confidence I feel that it will give us a good chance for the WAC," Atoa said.

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.