UVU Closes Home Slate with Two Key Conference Matches

Junior Lindsay Morrell.

Oct. 24, 2012

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Orem, Utah - The Utah Valley University volleyball team puts its six-match winning streak and its 16-match home winning streak on the line this weekend as it hosts Houston Baptist and Texas-Pan American. The Wolverines take to the PE Building to face HBU Thursday night at 7 p.m., then welcome UTPA Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Last Meeting
Utah Valley3
Houston Baptist2
October 6, 2012
Houston, Texas
Morrell, Norris, Nish Help UVU Improve to 2-0 in League Play
Sixteen kills apiece from junior Lindsay Morrell and sophomore Kalani Norris and 15 more senior Erica Nish helped Utah Valley improve to 2-0 in Great West Conference play with a hard fought five-set victory at Houston Baptist Saturday afternoon (25-18, 18-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-12).

The Last Meeting
Utah Valley3
Texas-Pan American2
October 4, 2012
Edinburg, Texas
UVU Comes From Behind to Win Conference Opener at UTPA
Exactly one month into its five-week-long 12-match road stretch, Utah Valley came back from a 2-0 deficit to win its Great West Conference opener 3-2 at Texas-Pan American Thursday night (25-27, 23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-10).

Thursday's contest will be televised live locally on UVUTV (Comcast Ch. 17) and will be rebroadcast nationally on Fox College Sports on Oct. 29 at 5:30 p.m. MT. Live stats and live video of both Thursday and Saturday's matches will also be available by visiting www.WolverineGreen.com.

Thursday night is UVU's annual Pink For a Purpose match with proceeds being raised for the Lori Richards Memorial Scholarship Fund. Richards was the former UVU women's volleyball coach for 18 years and passed away earlier this year from cancer. Saturday's contest will be Senior Day as lone senior middle blocker Erica Nish will be honored prior to the match against the Broncs.

The two Great West Conference contests will be crucial ones for the Wolverines (13-7, 4-0 GWC) as UVU will have the opportunity to clinch the conference title and the No. 1 seed for the upcoming conference tournament by winning both matches week. The Wolverines are currently in first place in the Great West standing with the unblemished 4-0 record while HBU is in second (4-1) and UTPA is third (2-2).

The Wolverines defeated both the Huskies and Broncs in Texas a couple weeks ago as UVU managed to come from behind in both matches to win each in five sets.

Last week the Wolverines continued their winning ways by defeating both GWC opponent Chicago State and in three sets and future WAC foe CSU Bakersfield in four. Sophomore outside hitter Kalani Norris led UVU offensively in the two matches as she recorded 24 kills, a 3.43 kill per set average and a .367 hitting percentage last week. Junior outside hitter/middle blocker Katie Fritzler too had a big week for the Wolverines as she put up 11 blocks, a 1.83 block per set average and 11 kills versus the Cougars and Roadrunners.

For the season Nish and freshman middle blocker Lauren Stringham lead UVU in kills as they each have 147. Stringham is also tops on the team in blocks with 112 (11 solos and 101 block assists) and is ranked first in the conference and 26th nationally with a 1.40 block per set average. Junior setter Brookelyn Hall leads the Wolverines in assists and aces with 740 and 28 respectively and is second in the conference in assists per set (9.25).

About Houston Baptist
The Huskies are 16-10 overall, 4-1 in conference play and have won four consecutive matches. Their lone loss in GWC play was to UVU in Houston on Oct. 6. HBU held a 2-1 lead in that match entering the fourth set but the Wolverines rallied to take the contest in five. Norris and junior Lindsay Morrell led UVU with 16 kills apiece while Caiti Wenger had 18 kills for HBU and Heather Leaverton added 17.

Leaverton leads the Huskies and the conference in kills with 282 and a 3.17 kill per set average. Maddeline Gaffney leads HBU in blocks with 72 (12 solos and 60 block assists) and a 0.81 block per set average.

The Wolverines lead the all-time series 8-1 over HBU and Thursday will mark the 10th all-time meeting between the two clubs and UVU is a perfect 4-0 in Orem.

About Texas-Pan American
UTPA is 9-14 overall and 2-2 in conference play. The Broncs are coming off of 3-0 loss to HBU last week and have dropped their last two matches.

Michelle McNamee and Diara Reynolds lead Texas-Pan American in kills with 191 and 174 respectively. Reynolds is also tops on the team in kill per set average with a 2.38 clip. At the net the Broncs are led by Haley Durham and her 51 blocks (12 solos and 39 block assists).

All-time the Wolverines command the series 19-1. UVU is also a perfect 10-0 against the Broncs in Orem.

Up Next for the Wolverines
UVU will have a week off before closing out its conference season by facing NJIT on Nov. 8 and Chicago State on Nov. 10 on the road. The Wolverines will then host the Great West Tournament Nov. 16-17 at the PE Building in Orem.

Pink For a Purpose Match - Thursday vs. HBU. The first 300 fans in attendance will receive a free Pink For a Purpose t-shirt sponsored by the Utah Army National Guard. Thursday will also be Clubs Night. Come one come all to Club's night at the Volleyball match. The club that brings the most people to the game wins a free dinner sponsored by the UVU athletics department. So bring anyone and everyone: roommates, friends, family and significant others, doesn't matter who if they come to the game for your club they are counted with your club and whoever has the most people by the END OF THE SECOND SET wins the free dinner party. Make sure to check in at the clubs table or you won't be counted.

Saturday vs. UTPA will be "Volleyball Apparel Day". Wear your volleyball jersey or volleyball t-shirt, from your club team, high school team, or UVU and receive FREE admission to the match.