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UVU to host No. 2 Grand Canyon in WAC Tournament semifinals



OREM, Utah – The Wolverines kick off the WAC Volleyball Tournament as UVU hosts No. 2 Grand Canyon in Lockhart Arena on Friday, April 2. The ‘Lopes are 11-3 on the year, including 11-3 in WAC play. Friday’s semifinal match is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. MT with a spot in the championship match on the line.

Grand Canyon is from Phoenix, Ariz., and calls the Western Athletic Conference home. GCU is currently 11-3 on the season and 11-3 in WAC play. The ‘Lopes finished second in the WAC standings this season. GCU is led by first team All-WAC performers sophomore setter Klaire Mitchell and senior outside hitter Yenny Murillo, as well as second team All-WAC honorees sophomore middle blocker Hannah Eskes and senior libero and outside hitter K.J. Adams.

The Wolverines and ‘Lopes have met 16 times with UVU holding a 14-2 record, including an 7-2 record at home. UVU and GCU split during the regular season with each team earning a 3-0 sweep. Both matches were in Orem and the Wolverines won the second match to secure the season split.

The Wolverines split last week’s series with Grand Canyon in Lockhart Arena. In the first match, Utah Valley lost a highly-competitive match, 3-0 (27-29, 22-25, 23-25). In the rematch, the Wolverines secured the series split with a dominating sweep, 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-17).

Junior outside hitter Kazna Tanuvasa was recently named the Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Year, becoming the first Wolverine to receive the prestigious award. She also was selected to the All-WAC First Team, league officials announced on Wednesday. The All-Conference honors are voted on by the WAC’s head coaches. Seren Jardine was named Second Team All-WAC, while Kendra Nock was nominated to the WAC All-Freshman team.

Tanuvasa has now been named an All-WAC performer in each of her three seasons in Orem. She is only the second player in UVU history to be nominated to an All-WAC team three times, joining Lauren Bakker (2013-15). She is now the only Wolverine to be name to the all-conference first team in multiple seasons.

With Utah Valley securing the number three seed in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament, the Wolverines received a bye to the tournament semifinals, marking the fifth-straight season that UVU has made it to at least the semifinals of the conference tournament. The last time the Wolverines failed to reach the semifinals was in 2015. UVU made it to the championship match in 2018 before falling to New Mexico State and then qualifying for the NIVC.

Utah Valley will continue to host the 2021 WAC Volleyball Tournament in Lockhart Arena on April 1-3. With a win in the semifinals over Grand Canyon, the third-seeded Wolverines would advance to the WAC Championship for the first time since 2018 with a chance to win the first WAC volleyball championship in school history. Utah Valley would face the winner of top-seeded New Mexico State and the winner of fourth-seeded UT Rio Grande Valley and fifth-seeded Chicago State. With a loss, to the ‘Lopes, the Wolverines season would come to end and UVU would await a selection to a post-season tournament.