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WSU volleyball prepares for tournament

The Weber State University volleyball team looks to move forward after beginning its season with a 1-2 record.

The Wildcats competed in the Utah State Invitational last weekend in Logan, where they defeated Portland in four sets with scores of 25-22, 13-25, 27-25 and 25-19 in their season-opening matchup.

“We felt great coming out,” said Rebecca Fuchs, a freshman athlete on the team. “We beat Portland in the first game . . . I don’t think we have had anyone beat their (season-opening) game in Weber State volleyball since 2003. . . . It’s really cool that we got to do that. We really gelled; our team was fired up.”

After the promising start to the season, the team lost its next two matches of the invitational, both against in-state opponents. WSU finished with scores of 17-25, 13-25 and 23-25 to the University of Utah, and 17-25, 11-25 and 20-25 to Utah State University.

“When the other two teams came up we were so close,” Fuchs said. “Everything we did was just so close, and it just didn’t go our way.”

WSU Head Coach Tom Peterson said he recognized where the team can improve and regroup from the two losses.

“We are trying to focus in on a lot of things, but essentially we needed to get our middles more involved in our offense, and that comes down to both us working hard in the middle and our centers connecting with the middles,” Peterson said. “If we can get our middles involved, the blockers can’t camp out on our outsides, and that will be a big, big deal to us. We are trying to run a fast offense, and we don’t get to run that fast offense without ball movement.”

The ‘Cats are readying themselves for the Cougar Challenge tournament that will take place this Friday in Pullman, Wash. The team will take on Seattle University (2-2), Alabama State University (0-4) and Washington State University (1-2) in three non-conference matches.

Peterson said he felt positive about the upcoming tournament for the Wildcats.

“I think that this weekend we will show a lot of improvement,” he said. “I really do think we can be pretty good.”

Fuchs had words of optimism for the team’s weekend tournament.

“We are going to Washington State, and we are going to play some teams there and we are just going to go all out,” she said. “We are focusing more on communication and chemistry.  What we lacked is not our skill; it’s how we interact with each other and how focused we are on doing that one thing together.”

Fuchs was named the WSU Student Athlete of the Week on Aug. 27 due to her performance in the season-opening invitational. She had a total of 22 kills, 14 digs and six blocks in the tournament.

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