Volleyball falls twice on the road

The Weber State University volleyball team has finished one of its last road trips of the season and will come home without a win.

The Wildcats concluded their four-game road trip last week as they traveled to play the University of Northern Colorado on Thursday night and the University of North Dakota on Saturday afternoon.

Before the two matches, WSU had lost their previous road games the week before against Northern Arizona University and Southern Utah University.

In the Wildcats’ first game of the week, the team traveled to Greeley, Colo., on Thursday night to battle UNC. The two teams met earlier this year, on Sept. 22, in Ogden for the Wildcats’ fourth conference game of the season; WSU lost to UNC in three straight sets.

History repeated itself for WSU as it fought the Bears on Thursday night. In the first set, WSU stayed with the Bears throughout most of the play, but was unable to keep up with them by the end of the set. The Bears took the first set with a score of 25-16.

The second set was very similar to the first. WSU lost the second set with a score of 25-16. The third set proved to be a difficult one as well, and the Wildcats lost with a score of 25-8. WSU lost the match in three straight sets.

“We’re getting better,” said WSU Head Coach Tom Peterson, “but we’re still just not consistent enough to win a match against a decent team, and all of these teams in our league are decent teams. Northern Colorado is a very physical team, and I think they probably have the best player in our league, alongside a couple of other very good players right next to her. So they’re very physical, and we stayed with them for a while — the first two games we were right there . . .”

The next match took place on Saturday afternoon in Grand Forks, N.D., where the Wildcats fought UND. WSU put up a solid effort, but couldn’t close out the game with a win. Although the Wildcats won the second and third sets, UND won the game in the fifth set. The final scoring through the five sets read 25-22, 18-25, 22-25, 25-13 and 15-12.

Highlights from the match for the Wildcats included 14 kills and 10 digs from freshman Rebeccas Fuchs, eight kills and 10 digs from junior Piper Wahlin, 35 assists and 11 digs from senior Caitlin Penrod, and nine blocks and seven kills from freshman Audrey Gee. The nine blocks from Gee were a career high.

“I think that, when the end of the game comes,” Gee said, “we are more worried about not losing than more focused on winning. I think we think to ourselves that we don’t have time for error and we think about the negative things. We think that we don’t have time to make mistakes . . . we think about what we are not going to do rather than what we need to do to win.”

Peterson said the Wildcats continually have the opportunity to win games — there are simply some factors that can change a game.

“Tonight, we were in control for at least half of the time — maybe more,” Peterson said. “I thought that we could have won Game 1 . . . We even had a chance to win that game in three (sets) if you look at it in a certain way. But, again, they beat us because there were periods of time where our offense just kind of struggles . . . I will say this, though — I am proud of our girls. They are working very hard and putting out a lot of effort.”

The Wildcats will come home to Ogden this week to compete in five straight home matches. They will face the University of Texas-Pan American, a team they defeated earlier this season, on Monday night and Montana State University on Friday afternoon.