UVU roundup: UVU women’s basketball to represent WAC with historic NCAA Tournament bid
UVU head coach Dan Nielson talks things over with his team during the WAC semifinal game against Grand Canyon at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Friday, March 12, 2021.
UVU junior guard Maria Carvalho goes up for a layup during the WAC semifinal game against Grand Canyon at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Friday, March 12, 2021.
Utah Valley University women’s basketball is going dancing. The Wolverines have received their first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament following California Baptist’s WAC Tournament Championship win on Saturday.
CBU, which moved to 25-0 on the year with its win over Grand Canyon, is in its third year transitioning to NCAA Division I and not yet eligible for the NCAA Tournament. The WAC Council (league athletic directors, senior woman administrators and faculty athlete representatives) initially voted prior to the conference season that should California Baptist win both the WAC regular season and tournament, that the team that finished second in the regular season would represent the league. That vote was later supported by the league presidents.
“Obviously it’s not a conventional way to go to the tournament but it’s the way the rules were decided. Having been to the tournament several times myself as a coach, it’s an experience I’d love for my girls to have,” UVU head coach Dan Nielson said. “California Baptist has had such a great year. It is a shame that they can’t go because they really are a fantastic team and Coach Jarrod Olsen has done such a great job and done something that most coaches don’t get to do, which is go undefeated.”
Utah Valley is currently 13-6 overall on the season and went 10-4 in WAC play, its most wins and best finish since joining the league in 2013-14. The Wolverines also had four representatives earn All-WAC honors, including first-team selections Maria Carvalho and Josie Williams. Shay Fano and Nehaa Sohail both received honorable mention All-WAC.
The NCAA Tournament Selection Show will air Monday evening on ESPN.
Baseball drops doubleheader to Portland
Utah Valley scored two runs in the eighth, but it wasn’t enough as Portland held on to defeat UVU 6-5 in the nightcap of a Saturday afternoon doubleheader at Joe Etzel Field in Portland.
The Pilots also took a pitcher’s duel by a score of 3-0 in the first game of the twin bill to sweep both ends of the doubleheader and clinch the four-game non-conference series. Portland improves to 6-7 on the year with the doubleheader sweep while UVU drops to 2-8.
The Wolverines and Pilots will close the weekend series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. MT/noon PT matinee. Following Sunday’s finale, UVU will return home for its home-and-conference-opening series next weekend (March 19-21) against Sacramento State. The Wolverines and the defending WAC Tournament champion Hornets will play a four-game series beginning at 6 p.m. Friday at doTERRA Field at UCCU Ballpark.
UVU women’s soccer earns scoreless draw
The Utah Valley women’s soccer team played WAC foe California Baptist to a 0-0 double-overtime draw on Saturday afternoon at the UVU Geneva Turf Field in Vineyard, Utah. The game was moved from Clyde Field to the Geneva Field due to poor weather conditions in Orem.
“Our team can be very proud of their performance today, specifically with the way they competed and the willingness to compete and win 50/50 balls,” said Utah Valley head coach Chris Lemay. “It’s obviously disappointing to come out with a draw, but I felt we did enough to earn the win and three points, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us today.”
The Wolverines outshot CBU 13-10 on the day, including a 5-1 advantage on frame. Sadie Brockbank led the Wolverines with a match-high five shots, including a match-best three on goal. Nicole Ray had three shots, while London Miller had two.
Isabel Jones-Dawe and the Wolverine defense picked up the shutout–the team’s sixth clean sheet of the year. Jones-Dawe recorded one save on the day.
Utah Valley now preps for a Wednesday matchup against in-state rival BYU. Kickoff for Wednesday’s match in Provo is set for 4 p.m.