Volleyball gets first win against NAU

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Weber State University’s Caitlin Penrod and Shanae Langston block a ball against the University of Montana on Oct. 7. WSU lost to Northern Colorado University in three sets and beat Northern Arizona University in three sets this past weekend. WSU is back at the Swenson Gym Friday and Saturday.
Weber State University Women’s Volleyball team earned its first win on Saturday. WSU swept Northern Arizona University in three straight sets with scores of 25-22, 25-17 and 25-21 at NAU’s home court.

“We had been doing some things we had not been doing on offense,” said Head Coach Tom Peterson. “Everything came together in a nice positive manner. It was nice to be able to sustain that for a long period of time.”

Before WSU got its first victory of the season and brought its record to 1-19, WSU lost to Northern Colorado University in three sets with scores of 25-19, 25-16 and 25-12 on Thursday.

Freshman Dama Cox and Mackenzie Clark had the high in kills against NCU with five, but Bethany Wray was close behind with four.  Shelby Earl had the high in digs with seven. The team had a total of 24 kills, 22 errors, 19 assists, 19 digs, six serving aces and eight blocks. NCU had team totals of 36 kills, 16 errors, 35 assists, 43 digs, six serving aces and four blocks.

“We just did not do anything very well,” Wray said. “They pushed us but we did not push back or really even put up a fight.”

The team had a rejuvenated ‘have fun’ attitude going into Saturday’s game. Wray said the new attitude was the biggest reason the outcome was so favorable against NAU.

“Our coaches finally said ‘Just go out there and have a good time if we lose the game, we lose’,” Wray said. “That’s what we did. Instead of focusing so much on the final outcome, we went out there and played. Whatever happened happened.”

The Wildcats hit a season-high .254 attack percentage and had 11.5 team blocks against NAU. Earl had her career high of 17 digs. Wray contributed nine digs of her own as well as 17 kills. Clark added 12 kills. This is the second time in three matches Clark has been in double digit hitting.

WSU had a total of 46 kills, 17 errors, 45 assists, 47 digs and 11.5 blocks. NAU had 34 kills, 21 errors, 30 assists, 49 digs and two blocks.

“We finally did everything we needed to do on game day,” Langston said. “Now that we know what the win feels like it will be a lot easier than working to find that feeling again.”

Langston also said the team will continue to work on their offense so that everyone contributes as well as getting rid of team errors.

“Eliminating errors is still our big issue,” Langston said. “We make so many errors that I feel we could still cut back on them.”

Volleyball will return home to the Swenson Gym to play Portland State University and Eastern Washington University on Friday and Saturday Oct 21-22.

“The crowd at the home games is a big reason why the team has shown improvement,” Peterson said.

“I want to thank the crowd for hanging in there with us,” Peterson said. “It seems like they have been waiting for us to do good things and we hope we are starting to do that and become more entertaining. A big reason why we have been getting better is because of our home crowd.”