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’Cats set records in 2019 season

It was a record setting fall for the Weber State University volleyball team. For just the second time in school history, the Wildcats made it into a postseason tournament after finishing second in the Big Sky.

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Hannah DeYoung leaps to spike the ball for the Wildcats vs. Grizzlies volleyball game Thursday. (Robert Lewis / The Signpost)

For the seventh time in Wildcat volleyball history, WSU finished with 20 or more wins on the year. With the ’Cats finishing 26-9, the 26 wins stands as the second highest in WSU’s history.

The last time Weber State made it into a postseason tournament was in 1988, the only time the ’Cats won the Big Sky Tournament, with WSU receiving the auto bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Over the Thanksgiving break, the Wildcats took down Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, which set them up for the championship game with the number one seed Northern Colorado Bears. The ’Cats and Bears proved to be the top two teams in the Big Sky, going five sets and ending with the Bears taking home the hardware.

But the season wasn’t over for WSU. The National Invitational Volleyball Championship, originally played between 1988-1995, was reborn. The NIVC, a tournament with 32 teams, is in just its third year.

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Ashlyn Power dives to keep the Grizzlies from scoring against the Wildcats. (Robert Lewis / The Signpost)

Weber State drew the Wyoming region and took on Boise State in the first round. The ’Cats stabled the Broncos in four sets to advance to the second round. This was WSU’s first postseason win.

The ’Cats were set to take on the host, the University of Wyoming, in what proved to be a thriller. Both teams traded point for point and set for set, a matchup that showed each team’s talent matched the other.

The ’Cats took the Cowgirls to a fifth set victory, in a hostile environment, for their second win in the postseason and moved onto the third round.

With winter break officially beginning, the ’Cats were on a flight to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to take on the University of Tulsa, where the quarterfinals were on the line.

WSU’s slow start saw them fall in five sets, and the 2019 season was over.

Head coach Jeremiah Larsen is now the second most winningest coach at Weber State. Larsen is now 73-74 overall and 50-44 in the Big Sky.

Weber State finished the season with two in season tournament wins; the Wildcat Invitational and the Missouri State Fall Invitational.

Junior setter Ashlyn Power ended the season with 1,459 assists, pushing her career total to 3,703 and breaking a record that stood for 35 years.

The Wildcats finished the season nationally ranked in the top 10 in team assists (8), team digs (6), team kills (9) and total blocks (7).

Senior Megan Gneiting, freshman Dani Nay and Power all received first team honors. Nay also received the Big Sky Freshman of the Year.

Weber State brings back Rylin Roberts, Nay, Kennedy Williams, Sam Schiess and Power for the 2020 season.

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