By STEPHANIE HALE DULLUM
BYU students will get a taste of professional sports right on BYU campus this Saturday as the Utah Predators come to Provo to take on the San Bernardino Jazz in the Smith Fieldhouse at 1 p.m..
The Utah Predators are one of the five teams in the growing Pro Volleyball
According to Don Black, manager of the Predators, other coaches in the PVL
have said they doubted a team out of Utah could be successful because many of the good players are in California.
The Predators have proved that to be false. The Predators are made up almost entirely by athletes from Utah. Right now, only one of the Predators is not a Utahn, Black said.
Not only is the team surviving, but the Predators are currently ranked first in the PVL with a record of 9-1 this season.
The Predators are stepping off their usual turf at Salt Lake Community
College and are coming down to BYU to play one of their home games.
Black said, “This is a chance to see Olympic-level volleyball. We have one
1996 Olympian and several potential 2000 Olympians on our team.”
This is also a chance for local sports fans to see what became of some of
the stars of BYU women’s volleyball such as Stephanie Trane, Charlene
Johnson, Gale Johnson, Megan Kennedy, Leslie Manwaring and Shauna Rideout.
Although the Predators are currently the team to beat, Saturday’s game is
crucial in the team’s record as the play-offs draw nearer.
“This will be our toughest game all season,” said Mike Daniel, head coach of the Predators.
Daniel said that playing in front of a big home crowd in a familiar setting
may be the added advantage that could push the Predators over the top.
According to Black, if the local and BYU crowd take well to the Predators,
he will try to schedule more games in the Utah County area.
The Predators are offering a special student discount for this game.
Admission with a student I.D. card will be $2.
The Predators can be seen in action Friday at 7 p.m. at the Life Center on the SLCC Redwood campus or Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.