After winning its final two matches of the regular season last week to earn the No. 3 seed for the Western Athletic Conference Tournament, the Utah Valley University volleyball team heads to Edinburg, Texas, for the 2017 WAC Tournament that will be contested Thursday through Saturday at the UTRGV Fieldhouse. UVU opens tournament play against the sixth-seeded UMKC Kangaroos on Thursday at 6 p.m. MT.

All matches of the conference tournament will air live on the WAC Digital Network, while live stats will also be available online. The winner of the event will receive the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

“We are excited to head to the WAC Tournament. The girls have been working hard as of late and we’re hoping that our momentum will carry over into the tournament,” head UVU coach Sam Atoa said. “Every match will be a challenge, but if we play our game then I like our chances.”

Utah Valley enters this year’s league tournament as the three seed after tying for third place in the regular season with a 14-15 overall record and a 9-5 conference mark. The Wolverines won their final two matches of the year at home a week ago by sweeping UMKC and pulling out a 3-1 victory over Chicago State, as well as held the tiebreaker over CSU Bakersfield.

Seniors Madison Dennison, Sierra Starley and Lexi Thompson had big outings during their final home matches for the Wolverines last week. Dennison, who became UVU’s all-time leader in block assists during the regular-season finale on Saturday with 517 for her career, averaged 3.43 kills and 1.43 blocks on the week, while Thompson led the way in attacks with an average of 3.86 kills. The setter Starley averaged 12.43 assists, 2.71 digs, 0.86 kills on .545 hitting and 0.29 blocks en route to earning WAC Player of the Week honors.

Dennison not only leads the WAC and the Wolverines in blocks for the season but also enters the postseason tournament as the nation’s leader in that category with a 177 during her senior campaign. Her 1.64 blocks per set average is also good enough to rank her third in the country, and her .312 hitting percentage is good enough to top the conference. As a team, UVU enters this week’s action ranked fourth and 11th nationally, respectively, in total team …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

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UVU volleyball: Wolverines set to open WAC Tournament play Thursday vs UMKC

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