Utah Valley University head coach Cathy Nixon released the 2017-18 women's basketball schedule, which features contests against 2016-17 national postseason participants Oregon State and BYU.
The Wolverines open their season with a five-game road trip that includes a Nov. 15 visit to PAC-12 regular season champion Oregon State, which made a run to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament a season ago. That game concludes the second night of a back-to-back following a trip to West Coast Conference foe Portland on Nov. 14.
"It will be a big test for us to start out with those games against some high-caliber teams," said Nixon. "We thought it was important to give our team a non-conference experience that would prepare us for our conference schedule. If you want to contend for a WAC Championship, you have to beat teams on the road, and I feel like our schedule is ideal to set us up for success in March."
UVU continues its season-opening road gauntlet with the third annual UCCU Crosstown Clash versus WCC regular season runner-up BYU at the Marriott Center in Provo on Nov. 21. The Cougars earned an automatic postseason berth in the WNIT last season.
"I'm excited to go play BYU on their home court. It' s always a top-level program, and it's a good way to measure how far along we are as a team. We also compete against most of the other in-state teams, which are also good games that everyone enjoys seeing," Nixon said.
In between those three matchups, the Wolverines start the season with a trip north to face in-state foe Weber State on Nov. 11. The stretch of five-straight road games to begin the year ends with a post-Thanksgiving contest at Eastern Washington on Nov. 25.
Utah Valley then closes its November slate with its first two home games of the 2017-18 campaign, including in-state matchups with the Nov. 28 home opener against Dixie State and a Nov. 30 contest versus Southern Utah.
After opening December at Pepperdine on Dec. 2, the Wolverines will enjoy a stretch of six-straight home contests to end the calendar year. That string of games includes familiar faces from a year ago in Air Force on Dec. 7, Utah State on Dec. 9, Idaho State on Dec. 16 and Antelope Valley on Dec. 29, to go along with a matchup with Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 23.
"I'm looking forward to playing some of these same teams we did last year because it will be a good way to see our progress and improvements since last season," said Nixon.
UVU's non-conference slate ends with a game at Denver to ring in the 2018 calendar year on Jan. 2.
Utah Valley's 14-game, home-and-home Western Athletic Conference schedule begins with a trio of road matchups at CSU Bakersfield Jan. 6, at UMKC Jan. 11 and at Chicago State on Jan. 13. The Wolverines play host to UT Rio Grande Valley on Jan. 18, in the WAC home opener that precedes their Jan. 20 matchup at home versus conference powerhouse New Mexico State.
In a rematch of last season's battle in the WAC Tournament semifinal, UVU hosts Seattle U on Feb. 3. During the opening seven-league contests, Utah Valley will also visit Grand Canyon on Jan. 27. The 2017-18 regular season comes to a close with Senior Night at home against Grand Canyon on Feb. 24, and the season finale at Seattle U on March 3. The WAC Tournament is at Orleans Arena from March 8-10, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"We look forward to every game on our schedule, but especially to those conference games. I think the WAC will be really competitive this year," Nixon said. "Several of the teams have new coaches and will have a new look in terms of personnel, but I have no doubt it will be competitive and we have every intention to be one of the teams contending for a championship."
Season tickets for the 2017-18 season are on sale now. The season ticket package is available for purchase by calling 801-863-7474 or stopping by the UCCU Center ticket office.