Volleyball goes 1-1 in weekend home matches

(Photo by Tyler Brown) Weber State University’s Audrey Gee prepares to spike the ball in a game against Eastern Washington University. The Wildcats knocked off EWU for their eighth win of the year and first home win of the season.

The Weber State University volleyball team won a game and lost a game this weekend as it hosted a pair of Big Sky Conference home games.

The Wildcats faced Eastern Washington University on Friday night and came out of the game with an exciting home win in three straight sets in front of a supportive crowd of Wildcat fans.

The first set on Friday night against EWU got off to a close start early on as both sides played consistently with even scoring. The Wildcats were able to slide away from the Eagles as the set carried on and never saw the lead taken away. WSU held the lead throughout the entire set, no matter how close, and finished with a score of 25-14.

The second set began similarly to the first, as both teams were matched in their opportunities with the scoreboard reading 11-11. The Eagles got away with the score, however, and the Wildcats saw themselves down 18-13. Coming from behind, WSU fought hard, with the help of the crowd, to tie the score at 20-20 and eventually win the second set at 25-22.

With two sets behind it, WSU saw another close set early on as it rallied back and forth with EWU. With a lead reading 12-11, the Wildcats slowly left the Eagles behind them and were able to put the victory on the set with the score of 25-18 and shut EWU out, winning the match in three straight sets.

“It’s always good to get a win,” said WSU senior Laurel Bodily. “You always feel great after you get a win . . . It was for sure a team effort; it wasn’t one individual person who just went off . . . and we passed well, which made it easy for everyone to make a set and easy for everyone to get a kill. Having everyone do their job makes a difference.”

The standout highlight for WSU came from junior Shanae Burgin, who hit a season-high 10 kills on 13 attempts, giving her a career-high .769 percentage.

“I just got really excited,” Burgin said. “It was my first time starting since probably the preseason, and I thought, ‘I have nothing to lose.’ It was really exciting, and it just felt good and went smooth. There was just nothing to worry about.”

The Wildcats also posted nine kills from Mariah Katoa, nine kills from Dama Cox, eight kills from Rebecca Fuchs, 31 assists given by Caitlin Penrod, 12 digs from Bodily, and a total of 41 team kills.

The victory gave the Wildcats their second Big Sky Conference home win. EWU fell to a 0-9 Big Sky record with a 0-20 record overall.

The second game of the weekend took place on Saturday evening. The Wildcats hosted Portland State University (8-0 in the Big Sky Conference) at home in Ogden and were unable to walk away with a consecutive win for the weekend, as they fell to PSU.

The first set showed the most promise for WSU, as it was able to stay relatively close to PSU throughout the set. However, the Wildcats were unable to get close enough to put the score on top, as they lost the set 25-18.

The second and third sets were disappointing for WSU, as it was never able to find a break or an opportunity to make a push. The Wildcats lost the final two sets with scores of 25-9 and 25-12.

WSU (2-8 in the Big Sky Conference, 8-13 overall) looks to come to a close on the first half of the Big Sky season this weekend as it takes on a pair of away games against Northern Arizona University on Thursday night and in-state opponent Southern Utah University on Saturday night.