Volleyball to begin conference play at home

The Weber State University volleyball team will travel home this week to Ogden to play its first series of home games for the season.

After a handful of preseason tournaments played all over the country, the Wildcats look to come home to WSU to play their first conference matches in front of a home crowd.

WSU (6-5) will begin with a matchup against in-state opponent Southern Utah University (3-7) on Friday night. The ‘Cats will continue to face Northern Arizona University (8-1) the next day in the afternoon. NAU currently has the best overall record in the Big Sky Conference.

After a few days of rest, the Wildcats will continue with their next conference matchups in Ogden with games set up against the University of North Dakota on Sept. 20and the University of Northern Colorado on Sept. 22.

WSU has played in three preseason tournaments in preparation for the Big Sky Conference play.

In late August, the team traveled to Utah State University to compete in the Utah State Invitational. The team went 1-2 with a win versus Portland State University and two losses against the University of Utah and USU.

The Wildcats were also invited to their second preseason tournament at the Cougar Challenge in Pullman, Wash. The ‘Cats went 1-2, beating Alabama State University and losing to both Seattle University and Washington State University.

In its most recent and final preseason tournament, WSU competed in the Tangi Tourism Lion Classic in Hammond, La. The Wildcats went 4-0 as they swept every opponent.

“Well, I’m fairly pleased,” said Head Coach Tom Peterson, concerning preseason play for the team. “We have systems, like I suppose most teams have systems, that we tried to work on. We feel that our systems are good – our blocking system and our offensive system overall . . . We’re just getting better and better at it.”

Peterson also said the team shouldn’t be overlooked in the competition.

“I think that we were picked not very high to begin with, but I really do think that we can surprise a lot of people if we just stay within what we can do,” he said. “If we concentrate on our side, (then) it’s not how good we are compared to the other side physically . . . If we don’t make the silly errors, we’ll compete with anybody.”

WSU freshman volleyball player Rebecca Fuchs, who currently leads the team in kills overall, said she knows the work the team has put in during the preseason has good potential.

“We kind of knew, coming right off the bat, that we’d have to be pretty cohesive and willing to work because of how many new people we have,” Fuchs said. “I mean, it’s kind of like a whole new team, really. And so we worked on that a lot. In the preseason, we did lots of team-building things . . . We have definitely had our peaks and our valleys, but we want to stay good all of the time. If we have had a bad day, then somebody else will pick it up for us because we are going to be here together, and we are willing to win and wanting to win.”

As the Wildcats finally bring their game home to Ogden, Fuchs said she knows they will do good things with the Wildcat fan support.

“We love the fans that come out and support us . . . and it’s not necessarily the number, but the quality (of the fans) — we love the fans that want to come and watch us do great things in our gym.”