Friday night, the Weber State University women’s volleyball team won its third game of the season as it defeated the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks for the second time this season, three sets to two.
“It’s absolutely great, wonderful and stupendous that we won an intense game in five sets at home in front of a great crowd,” Head Coach Tom Peterson said. “It was fun to go out and show them some excitement right there at the end.”
The last time WSU and NAU faced each other, the Wildcats came away with their first win of the season. Friday night, WSU quickly jumped out to a 12-7 lead in the first set. From there, NAU managed to keep the score close, but could not put it together in time and ended up losing the first set by a score of 25-16.
In the second set, WSU once again took the early lead, but NAU battled back. The Lumberjacks trailed for the majority of the second set, and they managed to come from behind and take the lead 16-15. From there, NAU did not give up its lead, going on to win the second set 25-22.
NAU was on a roll going into the third set, but it had trouble taking the lead because WSU managed to tie the score six separate times. WSU took and maintained the lead. WSU attempted a comeback late in the set, scoring four straight times to make the score 24-20, but it was too little too late, as NAU won the third set 25-20.
WSU seemed to rejuvenate itself in the fourth set, recapturing the same energy it had in the first set. NAU found itself trailing for almost the entire fourth set, only tying the score twice. But WSU ran away with the set in the end, winning 25-19.
With both teams having won two sets apiece, WSU and NAU headed into the fifth set, both teams looking for the win. NAU took the lead early, but WSU quickly came back, tied and took the lead away. NAU attempted a late comeback, and was able to pull within one point of WSU, but the Wildcats did not let up, winning the set 15-13 and the match three sets to two.
Junior outside hitter Bethany Wray had her 10th career double-double, making 26 digs and 16 kills. Wray’s 26 digs marked a career high for her. Wray, junior blocker Dama Cox and sophomore hitter Briana Wilms all had double-digit kills. Cox made a career-high 16 kills, and Wilms also contributed with 14 kills. Junior setter Caitlin Penrod had 50 assists in Friday’s match, two short of her career-high mark set earlier this season against Montana State University.
“It was a big win,” Captain Shanae Langston said. “We came out, and from the very beginning, it just felt right. We just came out and knew we were going to win.”
WSU played Northern Colorado University on Saturday night. WSU lost in three straight sets.
In the first set, WSU kept up with the NCU, keeping the score tied six different times and staying within one or two points until the end when NCU broke out to win with a 25-16 victory in the first set. Both teams had double-digit kills in the first game, with WSU having 12 and NCU having 15.
WSU started the second set off with the lead but quickly lost it as NCU tied the set and took off on a quick unattested six points. WSU lost the second set 25-20. NCU out-blocked WSU six to nothing between the first two sets.
The Wildcats tied the game in the third set five times and switched leads twice, but all their efforts went unwarranted when they lost 25-20. WSU also got out-blocked nine to three in the third set.
Throughout the entire game, WSU had 32 kills, 22 errors, 31 assists and 38 digs. NCU had 45 kills, 14 errors, 42 assists and 41 digs. Cox had the high in kills for WSU with nine and NCU’s Andrea Spaustat and Kelly Arnold each contributed 12 for the Bears.
WSU plays its last two games Friday and Saturday against the University of Montana and Montana State University.
“We are not done yet,” Langston said. “We can’t coast out of this. We need to work hard until the very end.”