Volleyball to face MSU, UM

[media-credit name=”Cade Clark” align=”alignright” width=”186″][/media-credit]The Weber State University volleyball team is preparing to play two conference matches this weekend against Montana State University and the University of Montana.

The Wildcats recently came home from a two-week period of away games. During their four games on the road, they went 0-4 against Big Sky Conference teams.

Head Coach Tom Peterson said the team is still showing progress and discovering its identity as a whole.

“Whether it’s getting discouraged or uptight — whatever we do, we are trying to figure out what that is and who we are,” Peterson said. “But we are getting better. We are getting better for longer periods of time.”

The Wildcats did, however, return home and gain a much-needed non-conference win on Monday night against the University of Texas-Pan American to propel them into this weekend’s pair of home matchups. Freshman Rebecca Fuchs led the team with 15 kills and 13 digs. Senior Dama Cox also had 13 kills.

Other statistics of the match for WSU included nine kills and six digs from junior Piper Wahlin. Wahlin had a .241 hitting percentage during the match. Senior Caitlin Penrod had 43 assists, five digs and six kills with a high hitting percentage of .719. Senior Lauren Bodily had a team high of 15 digs.

“It felt really good to come home and get a win,” said Fuchs in an interview with the WSU Athletic Department. “It feels like we’ve been on the road for a long time. We’ve been really close, but haven’t quite closed out some of the matches that we’ve played, and tonight we did.”

The Wildcats will look to grab their first win against MSU on Friday afternoon. The Bobcats defeated WSU earlier this season in Bozeman, Mont. WSU was swept during the match, going 0-3 in sets. MSU currently has a Big Sky Conference record of 7-7 and an overall record of 13-9. The Bobcats are coming off a win against Eastern Washington University, which they defeated 3-0 in sets.

Following the game on Friday, the WSU volleyball team will face UM on Saturday night. The Wildcats defeated the Grizzlies in Missoula, Mont., on Sept. 28, winning 3-2 in sets for a close victory. UM holds a Big Sky Conference record of 4-10, with an overall record of 6-19. The Grizzlies are coming into the weekend with a loss against Portland State University, which holds the best record of the Big Sky Conference. The Grizzlies lost 3-1 in sets.

The Wildcats currently hold a Big Sky Conference record of 2-12 and an overall record of 9-17, and are tied for last place in the Big Sky Conference standings with EWU. With this weekend’s upcoming pair of games, the Wildcats have only six games left of conference play.

The only school with a clenched Big Sky playoff berth is PSU, which has a 13-1 conference record. Although the chances are getting slimmer, a playoff berth is not yet out of the question for the Wildcats.

No matter how the final games for the season go, Peterson said, the team is working hard to win.

“I am proud of our girls,” Peterson said. “They are working very hard and putting out a lot of effort.”