Five athletes to watch this fall

Daniel Ray

1. Andrew Vollert — Football

The 2016 season was Vollert’s first as a Wildcat after transferring from San Francisco City College, and the tight end made a name for himself quickly as he racked up 840 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games. Vollert, a senior, was named to the STATS Preseason All-American Second Team and to the Big Sky Preseason All-Conference team. The Wildcats will benefit from having Vollert as a consistent option on the ground or in the air this year, especially with a new starting quarterback under center.

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2. Taron Johnson — Football

Johnson is a senior who has seen consistent growth over his four years at Weber. Last season, he recorded 48 tackles and 12 pass breakups, tying the record for number of pass breakups in a season. That record was set by Johnson during his sophomore season. He has earned All-Conference honors twice and was named to the Big Sky Preseason All-Conference Team. The Wildcat defensive interior will be relying on Johnson to plug the holes on the outside, a task the senior has shown he has no problem completing.

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3. Amanda Varley — Volleyball

Varley led last year’s team in kills with 310, averaging 3.23 kills per set. The senior will be back for more this year after helping lead last year’s team to their best start in WSU history. The six-foot-one-inch outside hitter will be looking to capitalize on her experience, skill and height against conference opponents as the Wildcats fight to make a lasting impression on their opponents. Look for Varley to be a strong force on the floor and a leader on the team as the Wildcats aim to not only start strong but finish strong this season.

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4. Sydnie Brough — Soccer

Besting last season’s stats won’t be easy for Brough. With 71 saves and a goals-against average of 1.61 last season, Brough proved that she has what it takes to guard the Wildcat goal. Brough, a Syracuse, Utah, native started all 17 matches for the Wildcats and played over 1,500 minutes. This year, the senior goalkeeper will be aiming to beat the three shutouts from last season and do her part to give the team a postseason run.

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5. Morgan Quarnberg — Soccer

Quarnberg led last season’s offense with 10 offensive points in 17 matches. With three goals and a team-high four assists, Quarnberg proved herself to be an offensive producer. Expect those numbers to grow as the junior looks to lead her team toward a postseason berth. The Wildcats will see a slightly different landscape up front following the graduation of former forward Lana Willard, giving Quarnberg — and others — a chance to step up and fill the leadership role on and off the field.

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