Volleyball team announces schedule

The schedule for the 2012 Weber State University women’s volleyball season has been announced. The season for the Wildcats consists of a solid schedule for season play, including many opponents outside of Big Sky Conference play and a few preseason tournaments hosted at different universities across the country.

“This is a good schedule; we were fortunate to find some quality non-conference teams and tournaments to participate in this year,” said WSU Coach Tom Peterson. “It is a good mixture of teams. We will be tested, and it will help us improve quickly.”

Before the preseason for the athletes begins, the women’s volleyball team will hold their Purple and White scrimmage game on Aug. 18 to get ready. It is an opportunity to find last-minute needs, make any adjustments and prepare.

Preseason play for the Wildcats begins with the Utah State Tournament held in Logan on Aug. 24. WSU will face off against Portland State University, and will continue the next day, matching up against other rivals from the state, including the University of Utah and Utah State University.

Other tournaments include the Washington State Tournament on Aug. 31 and the Southeastern Louisiana Tournament on Sept. 7. These tournaments offer the Wildcats opportunities to battle in non-conference games, widening their experience and expanding their skills for conference play preparation.

Peterson said WSU will face a few teams from strong conferences in the preseason, which will help the team prepare for its conference schedule.

“We were able to get a couple of Pac-12 teams on our schedule, as well as a lot of other good teams,” Peterson said. “The competition within our conference is getting better, and both North Dakota and Southern Utah coming in this year make it even stronger.”

Big Sky Conference games for the Wildcats kick off on Sept. 14 in Ogden when they take on Southern Utah University. SUU was recently added to the Big Sky Conference, as was the University of North Dakota. WSU begins the Big Sky season with four straight home matches, giving the Wildcats the strength of their home crowd to start it off.

The Wildcats are looking to bounce back from the 2011-12 season. WSU finished with an overall record of 3-26, including 3-13 in Big Sky conference play. The team had a home record of 3-13, and its record in competition away from home was 2-11.

The Wildcats have many familiar faces returning to their roster for the 2012-13 season. Athletes coming back this year include seniors Michele Arave, Dama Cox and Caitlin Penrod, junior Briana Wilms, and sophomore Ashley Orr.

Not returning for the Wildcats this year is Bethany Wray. Wray was the team leader in kills last year, and led in attempts as well.

Wilms and Cox lead the attacks for the Wildcats, just as they did during the 2011 season. Of those returning to the roster this year, Wilms had a season-high statistic for the team, providing 203 kills and averaging 2.03 kills per set. Cox provided an additional 174 kills throughout the 2011 season and an average of 1.74 kills per set. The two attackers led last season in attack percentage as well.