Utah Valley and California Baptist have agreed to reschedule their matches that were previously canceled due to COVID-19 protocols.

The matches will be in Riverside, Calif. on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 8-9, in Van Dyne Gym. Monday’s match is set for 6 p.m. MT, while Tuesday’s contest is set to begin at 1 p.m. MT. Both matches will be broadcasted on the WAC Digital Network.

Next week’s contests will mark the fifth and sixth all-time meetings between UVU and CBU. The Wolverines hold a 1-3 record in the series, including a 1-1 mark on the road. The Lancers won last years’ match in Riverside, 3-1, on Nov. 16, 2019. In 2018, UVU recorded the win on the road, sweeping California Baptist, 3-0, on Nov. 1.

The Lancers went 14-16 overall a season ago and 7-9 in WAC action. CBU was picked to finish fourth in the Western Athletic Conference and are led by preseason All-WAC nominees senior middle blocker Sydney Marks and sophomore outside hitter Christine Graf. California Baptist swept its opening series in WAC play, defeating Tarleton State 3-0 and 3-1 on the road.

Both teams were set to face each other on Jan. 25-26 but the matches were postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. Following the matchup with the Lancers, the Wolverines will travel to Stephenville, Texas to take on Tarleton State in the first-ever match between the two schools Feb. 15-16. Both matches are set to start at 5:00 p.m. MT and will be broadcasted on the WAC Digital Network.

UVU softball third

Utah Valley University was picked to finish third with Devyn Cretz and Abby Doughty both named to the Preseason All-WAC Team, the league announced on Wednesday.

For the second year in a row, Seattle U is the preseason favorite to win the 2021 Western Athletic Conference softball title in a vote of the league’s seven head coaches, who could not vote for their own team.

Cretz was a two-time WAC Pitcher of the Week during last season’s shortened campaign, and finished 5-3 with a 2.45 ERA, which ranked second among WAC pitchers. Doughty batted a WAC-best .456 to go along with four home runs, two triples, three doubles and 13 runs batted in and was named WAC Hitter of the Week on March 9.

The Redhawks edged out the top spot in the preseason poll with 32 points as they collected four first-place votes. NM State was just behind them in second with 31 points, garnering the remaining three first-place votes. Utah Valley finished in third with 25 points while California Baptist slid into fourth, tallying 20 points. Grand Canyon landed in fifth with newcomer Dixie State taking sixth as they earned 19 points and 12 points, respectively. Tarleton rounded out the poll with eight points.

The Preseason All-WAC Team, as selected by the coaches, was also announced. The Preseason All-WAC Team includes last year’s WAC Preseason Player of the Year and WAC Preseason Pitcher of the Year as NM State’s Nikki Butler and Grand Canyon’s Ryan Denhart each earned a selection. Along with Butler and Denhart, four other WAC Player of the Week award winners are included among this year’s All-WAC team. Utah Valley’s Devyn Cretz and Abby Doughty, NM State’s Matalasi Faapito and California Baptist’s Katelyn Mangrello each earned at least one player of the week award during the shortened 2020 season.

The first pitch of the 2021 season is set for Thursday, Feb. 11, while the 2021 WAC Softball Tournament will be held May 13-15, at Francis F. Logan Field in Seattle.

Wolverine women’s hoops set to restart

Utah Valley University is slated to return to the court for the first time since mid-January to host Chicago State University on Friday and Saturday at the UCCU Center.

Friday’s contest is set for a 5:30 p.m. MT tip with Saturday’s start time 3 p.m. MT. Both games can be seen live on the WAC Digital Network.

The Wolverines (4-3, 2-2) had a bye during the second week of WAC competition and COVID protocols forced the postponement of last week’s two-game swing at Tarleton in Stephenville, Texas.

UVU has won two straight, both coming over Seattle University on Jan. 15 and 16. The wins helped junior Josie Williams earn the WAC Player of the Week award for the first time this season and the second time in her career. She averaged 14.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game in the two wins. Williams leads the team with averages of 14.9 points and 8.4 rebounds, which rank fourth and second in the WAC, respectively.

Utah Valley is scheduled to host Benedictine University on Tuesday at 2 p.m. MT in Lockhart Arena in a non-conference game. Next weekend was originally scheduled to be played at Dixie State in St. George, but the Trailblazers opted out of the rest of the season.

Like Utah Valley, Chicago State has played just seven games so far this season, with four of those games coming over the last two weekends. The Cougars (0-7, 0-4) led Seattle U at halftime in the opener of the two-game series last weekend in the Windy City before falling 70-57. The Redhawks also defeated CSU a day later, 64-39. Nadia Thorman-McKey leads the team with an average of 14.7 points per game.

Daily Herald sports reporter Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or jlloyd@heraldextra.com. Twitter: @JaredrLloyd. Instagram: @JaredrLloyd.

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