Aug 23, 2013
OREM, Utah - The Utah Valley University women's volleyball team took to the court for the first time in 2013 with its annual Green and White Match Friday in the PE Building. The White team took the shortened exhibition contest two sets to one (25-21, 25-19, 13-15).
"It was a fun night and I felt like we did a lot of good things," head coach Sam Atoa said. "The girls brought the energy and it was a fun atmosphere with all of their family members and student-athletes in attendance."
Freshman outside hitter Nakisha Willden was the lone Wolverine in the contest to reach double digits in kills as she led Team White with 11. Sophomore Lauren Stringham, who was recently named Preseason All-WAC, also had a solid exhibition as she picked up nine kills, nine blocks assists and also hit a solid .643 (9-14) for the White team. Junior outside hitter Kalani Norris led Team Green with nine kills while senior setter Brookelyn Hall, who was also tabbed Preseason All-WAC a couple of days ago, dished out 27 assists.
Team White won the opening set as it reeled off five of the final six points in the game. Willden led the way offensively in the set with seven kills while junior setter Jen Hardman and Stringham picked up three and four block assists respectively.
The White team also took second set after it finished off a late 20-11 advantage. Junior libero McKenna Tait paced Team White with five service aces while Stringham chipped in five block assists and four kills.
The Green team finally broke through in the third game as it pulled out the set by two points. Norris led the Green squad with three kills while freshman defensive specialist Kat Biggs put the set away with an ace.
"We are going to have to play a lot better next week but I think we're on the right track," added Atoa. "I was pleased with how our middles played. Lauren led the way with nine blocks and Jaramey Barney hit a solid .500. I was also happy with how our freshmen looked as well. We've got a bright future ahead with the girls that we have and I'm excited to see how well they will be able to contribute for us this year."
The Wolverines, who were picked to finish third in the WAC's preseason poll, will officially begin their 2013 season next weekend by hosting the La Quinta Inn & Suites Invitational. UVU will take on Arizona State of the Pac-12 Conference in its opening match on Friday, Aug. 30 and will then face both North Dakota State and No. 24 Wichita State the following day.