Utah State’s volleyball team will see competition in three tournaments this spring. The team will start up on April 1 at the University of Utah for a small two-pool tournament with a total of eight teams. The next weekend the team will travel to Orem for a tournament at Utah Valley University that will be similar to the first at Utah.
Then the team will welcome Dixie State University, Salt Lake Community College and Weber State to the Wayne Estes Center on Saturday, April 15 for a four to five match tournament.
“We’ve always gone to Utah, we’ve always gone to Utah Valley just over the course of the years,” DuBose said. “Then we’ve brought in a team here in the past, just to get some competition going but to try different things. But this year we decided to have a little tournament.”
DuBose said the tournament was easy to organize after Dixie State reached out to him and he was then able to contact a long-time friend, the head coach at Weber State.
The spring tournaments will act as a sort of checkpoint for DuBose and his team, showing them just how much what they’ve been working on has improved through the first part of the offeason.
“We need to be a better blocking team,” DuBose said. “Our offense was pretty good last year, but we need to block more balls. We’re also trying to figure out if we can kill more first ball opportunities.”
DuBose said there are currently nine healthy women on the team that practice with DuBose and those numbers don’t suffice for a real scrimmage or competition. These tournaments will allow him a chance to see if what they’ve been practicing measures up to other teams.
The team will be playing for the first time in four years without graduating seniors Kaylie Kamalu-Smith, Erica Moscoso, Maddie Day-Larsen and Hannah Gleason which will open up some big spots on the back row, outside hitter and setter.
However, Lauren Andersen, who led the team in kills last season at 377 will return, along with the team’s top blockers — Carly Lenzen and Lauren O’Brien.
“It’s a fun opportunity,” DuBose said. “Right now it’s super low-key, let’s not worry about conference standings or any of that stuff. Let’s just go compete and see if we got any better.”
The tournament will be in Logan on April 15 and admission is free to the public.