Volleyball team signs two transfer students

The Weber State University women’s volleyball team announced last week the signing of an in-state transfer student. WSU also announced the signing of another transfer student earlier this summer.

Mariah Katoa, a versatile 6-foot hitter/blocker, is joining the Wildcats as a transfer from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where she redshirted as a true freshman. Katoa has four seasons of eligibility remaining for WSU.

Head Coach Tom Peterson said Katoa is a strong player who will bring a lot to the Wildcats in upcoming seasons. Peterson said the team is happy to have landed such a good and experienced player.

“Mariah was one of the most sought-after recruits in her class from the state of Utah,” Peterson said. “We are very fortunate that she has chosen to transfer to our program. She comes from a wonderful family that also has a rich athletic background.”

A 2011 graduate of Layton High School, Katoa was a four-year starter and three-time all-area selection by The Standard-Examiner while playing for the Lancers. She was a two-time all-state selection. Katoa was recruited out of high school by Texas A&M, Washington State University, Colorado State University, the University of Oregon, the University of Maryland, the University of Utah, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and others before originally committing and signing with the Cougars.

“Mariah has what I call a ‘good arm,'” Peterson said. “She can hit the volleyball as hard as anyone around. I can already see her being a crowd-pleaser because of her dynamic hitting ability. I believe, because she is still a freshman, that she has a chance to really be a standout for our team.”

Katoa played club volleyball for Club V and Utah Elite, playing at the elite level for three years, and participated in the Junior Olympics.

Her father, Fotu, was an All-American football player at BYU, and her mother, Elizabeth, was an All-American track runner for the Cougars.

“Mariah is such a good athlete, I hesitate to place her in any one particular position on the court,” Peterson said. “We may look at her playing more than one position and see what benefits our team the most.”

WSU also recently announced the signing of another transfer student, Audrey Biggs from Wichita State University. Biggs has three seasons of eligibility left, and Peterson said she will add a strong presence to the Wildcats’ blocking play.

“She brings good experience to our team, and is coming from a very strong Wichita State program that played in the NCAA Tournament last year,” Peterson said. “She will have an opportunity to come in and compete for playing time quickly.”

Biggs is originally from Utah, and graduated from Pleasant Grove High School in 2011. While in high school, Biggs helped PGHS reach the 5-A state championship match two years in a row.

WSU will begin its 2012 season on Aug. 24 against the University of Portland.