The three-time Great West Conference champion Wolverines begin play at a tournament in Palm Springs, California and will go for their fourth straight conference tournament title at the year-end GWC Tournament in May in Newark, N.J.
“With the youth and inexperience we have in our position players we will certainly be tested early and often with the opposition we face,” said head coach Eric Madsen. “It will be a challenge to temper our expectations after the year we had in 2012, but realistically we lost a number of impact players and will need the returners to step up and our newcomers to find their roles on this team.”
Utah Valley — the 2012 National leader in batting average and winning percentage — will face Gonzaga twice, Oregon State and UC Riverside at the season-opening tournament in California. From there, they’ll play three games at Portland before the midweek at College World Series champion Arizona on Feb. 26-27.
UVU, which will join the Western Athletic Conference in all sports next summer, will travel to WAC co-champion Sacramento State (March 1-3). That series precedes the home-opening series with Nevada on March 7-9. It will be the first time that Utah Valley will host the Wolf Pack, a program it has faced 20 times over the years in Reno.
Midweek games at Texas Tech, Utah and BYU and weekend series’ at Saint Mary’s and Cal State Northridge round out the pre-conference schedule prior to the Great West-opening series at NJIT (Apr 5-7). The Wolverines are scheduled to play 27 of their first 30 games on the road.
The first home series in Great West play will be a rematch of last year’s tournament final against Houston Baptist. The Huskies are in town April 11-13. Utah, the only team to beat Utah Valley over the final 41 games last season, will be at Brent Brown Ballpark on April 16. UVU will also host BYU on April 30.
UVU will play four of the seven four-game conference series’ on the road this season and three at home; HBU, Chicago State and NYIT will all be in Orem and NJIT, North Dakota, Northern Colorado and Texas-Pan American will be on the road. The final GWC tournament will take place May 21-25 in Newark and hosted by NJIT.