Wildcats defeat Broncs in four sets

The Weber State University volleyball team defeated the University of Texas-Pan American 3-1 on Monday night in the annual Swing For Life breast cancer awareness game.

“I think the biggest thing we did well tonight was we let mistakes roll off our back a lot easier than we have in the past,” said Caitlin Penrod, team captain. “I am sure it’s easy for others to notice we get stuck on a mistake and dwell on it, and it turned into more and more mistakes. Tonight we just let them go and kept playing.”

Senior outside hitter Rebecca Fuchs said winning at home is great because the team gets to show off to its fans.

“Winning at home is the best feeling,” she said. “Showing our fans that we are willing to work hard to get a win is important to us.”

The Wildcats started the game off with a 25-20 victory. They struggled in the second set and lost 25-10. They gained their momentum back after the break and came from behind to win the third set 25-21. Their momentum skyrocketed in the fourth set as they sent the Broncs home with a 25-12 loss.

“Our goal tonight was to beat these guys in three,” Penrod said. “That didn’t happen, but we still got a good win at home with a lot of gelling on the court.”

Head Coach Tom Peterson said the second game was tough for WSU, but the team adapted well.

“In the second game, we were starting to go down,” Peterson said. “Something happened right after that second game. We dug down deep and made some nice digs to get us back in the match. It’s nice to see us gut one out.”

Peterson said UTPA plays a little differently from what the Wildcats are used to, but the Wildcats struggled in blocking. The Wildcats average double-digit blocks; last night, they only put up seven.

“This was a team that didn’t have much height, but they hit the ball hard,” Peterson said. “They didn’t hit the ball as high as what we were used to recently. They outblocked us tonight. We struggled on blocking, where we should have had a lot more stops.”

Fuchs had 15 kills and 13 digs, her sixth double-double of the season. Senior middle blocker Dama Cox had a season high of 13 kills and hit a career-high .455 percentage, as well as three digs and three blocks.

“It’s a team effort,” Fuchs said. “If I get the kill, somebody had to pass the ball, somebody had to dish it out. I just finished it, but without the team I can’t do anything. I depend on my team 100 percent in everything I do.”

UTPA’s Diara Reynolds and Michelle NcNamee each led the team with eight blocks. The Broncs had a total of 40 kills, 24 errors, 36 assists, 44 digs and seven team blocks. They also had four serving aces.

The Wildcats put up 53 kills, 21 errors, 51 assists, 52 digs, and six and a half blocks. They also had seven serving aces.

Fuchs said the team plans to take its energy and carry it on to the upcoming games this weekend, when WSU will face off against the University of Montana and Montana State University.

“We are just going to remember what we did tonight, and previous games we have done well, and bring it all from here on out,” Fuchs said.