‘Cats continue to claw down competition

Emily Miller

Weber State University’s women’s volleyball team have made themselves comfortable atop the Big Sky standings.

After their 3–0 sweep against the Eastern Washington Eagles at Swenson Gym on Oct. 23, the ‘Cats have won 22 consecutive sets and extended their home winning streak to 23 matches as well.

The team gathers moments before the game begins (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost)
The team gathers moments before the game begins (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost) Photo credit: Paige Mckinnon

Outside hitter Dani Nay said it felt good being at 10–0, but it also “feels better that we’re getting better and just working on the areas that we need to improve in.”

The Wildcats hosted the University of Idaho Vandals on Oct. 21 and collected scores of 25–17, 25–16 and 25–11.

Nay led the squad with 11 kills. Rylin Adams followed with nine, and Emma Mangum collected seven.

Nay, who collected five aces against U of I, is currently leading the country in total aces with 52. Baylee Bodily was close behind with three, and Makayla Sorenson collected two.

Mangum and Bodily both had three blocks for the night, and Nay had two.

The Idaho Vandals are now 3–15 overall and 0–9 in the Big Sky.

Wildcat defense line up against the net as the opposing team prepares to serve. (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost)
Weber lines up against the net as the opposing team prepares to serve. (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost) Photo credit: Paige Mckinnon

On Oct. 23, the ‘Cats faced the Eastern Washington University Eagles and saw a similar fate. Weber State won all three sets 25–16, 25–21 and 25–9.

The first set started out with back-and-forth scoring runs against the Eagles until the Wildcats went on a 4–1 run and pushed themselves past EWU 10–5. From there, it was a game of catchup for the Eagles, and EWU never led in the first set.

The second set brought the closest score of the match, but EWU wasn’t able to catch the ‘Cats.

The Eagles were the first to see a point go up on the board, but it wasn’t long until the ‘Cats went on a 6-point run and led the set 9–6.

Eastern Washington had a late scoring run in the second set that brought them to 23–20, and as the ‘Cats got to the set point, the Eagles were able to add one more point before the Wildcats brought it home with a score of 25–21.

The third and final set of the day brought Weber State their largest lead of any set when the ‘Cats went on a 9–0 scoring run that eventually took them to 25. The Eagles couldn’t catch up, making the final score 25–9.

Adams led the squad with 14 kills. Nay was close behind with 12, and Mangum collected seven.

Bodily collected three aces, Ashlyn Power had two and Adams had one ace.

Sam Schiess had a team high of four blocks, and Power and Mangum each had two.

Dani Nay, #12, and Ashlyn Power, #19, embrace celebrating a strong play. (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost)
Dani Nay, 12, and Ashlyn Power, 19, embrace celebrating a strong play. (Paige McKinnon/The Signpost) Photo credit: Paige Mckinnon

This match advanced Weber State to 15–5 for the season and 10–0 in the Big Sky. Eastern Washington is now 8–10 overall and 4–6 in Big Sky Play.

It’s been almost 240 days since the Wildcats last lost to a Big Sky opponent. The loss was to the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks on March 7 and was the first loss of that season.

The only other loss Weber State faced last season was against the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the second round of the NCAA volleyball tournament, losing 3–0. The ‘Jacks snapped the Wildcats’ 10-game winning streak.

The last time the Wildcats lost on their home court was almost 750 days ago when Weber State hosted Sacramento State and lost 3–2.

Nay led with 16 kills and Power led with 45 assists in the game against Sacramento State.

The Wildcats’ newest record was set this season after winning 22 straight sets. This streak started on Sept. 30, when Weber State played in a five-set match against Montana State, in which WSU lost the first and fourth sets 25–17 and 26–24 and won the second, third and fifth sets 25–20, 25–23 and 15–13.

“Everybody brings their best game against us,” Nay said. “Everybody wants to beat us and come at us. We respect the other teams enough to just take care of our business and play our kind of game.”

Following their game against MSU, the ‘Cats took on the University of Montana and swept the Grizzlies, winning 3–0.

The Weber State volleyball team celebrating together.
The Weber State volleyball team celebrates together. Photo credit: WSU Athletics

Since then, the ‘Cats have collected straight sweeps from Idaho State, Northern Colorado, Southern Utah, Northern Arizona, the University of Idaho and Eastern Washington.

The current standings of the top three spots in the Big Sky have Weber State in the lead at 10–0, Portland State at 8–2 and Northern Colorado and Montana State tied at 7–3.

“We’re taking it game by game,” Nay said. “We know people are coming after us and want to beat us, but that isn’t our motivation.”

The Wildcats go on a four-game road trip to Sacramento State on Oct. 28, Portland State on Oct. 30, Idaho State on Nov. 3 and Northern Colorado on Nov. 6.

Your last chance to see the ‘Cats in conference play is when they head back to Swenson Gym after their road trip and host Northern Arizona and Southern Utah on Nov. 11 and 13.