After losing two games at home, the Weber State University volleyball team will head on the road in search of its first conference win of the season. WSU started the season off winning six matches, but has struggled in conference play.
WSU headed east for a two-game road trip in Montana. The Wildcats will take on the University of Montana in on Friday night, followed by the Montana State University Bobcats on Saturday night.
Friday’s match will be the 71st meeting between the two schools. Overall, the Grizzlies have dominated the series, holding a 44-26 all-time lead over the Wildcats. UM also holds the advantage in recent matches, having won the last six matches and swept the season series with WSU for the past three years.
Despite the fact that UM has dominated the series recently, the Grizzlies have struggled this season. They are 1-3 in Big Sky play and 3-10 overall.
WSU Head Coach Tom Peterson said his team is getting better and becoming more solid.
“We just need to keep working on finding a way to hit on all cylinders,” Peterson said. “And I think when we do, we can be a pretty good team.”
Peterson said the biggest thing his team needs to do is play with confidence and not make little mistakes.
“We’re still kind of at a point where we have to force ourselves to play at a higher level of intensity,” Peterson said. “We need to get to a point where that intensity comes naturally.”
Saturday’s game will be the 63rd meeting between the Wildcats and the Bobcats. MSU is currently 2-2 in Big Sky matches and has an overall record of 8-4. The Bobcats will take on conference-leading Idaho State University on Friday night.
Rebecca Fuchs is leading the Wildcats offensively this season. She has racked up 166 kills in 52 sets this year. She also has 15 service aces and 23 block assists for the ’Cats this year. In conference play, Fuchs has continued her strong play. She holds the fourth-highest average of kills in the conference and the fourth-highest average of points per set.
Audrey Gee, a redshirt freshman, has also had a strong season for WSU. She has recorded a team-high 49 blocks. As a team, the Wildcats have recorded 174 kills and 33 team blocks.
WSU is currently 0-4 in Big Sky Conference games. All four losses this season have come at home. The Wildcats fell to Northern Colorado University, the defending conference champion. WSU fell in straight sets to the Bears.
The Wildcats also fell at home to the University of North Dakota. WSU pushed UND to five sets, but was unable to come away with the win on Thursday night. Fuchs was the only player to reach double figures in kills during the game. It was the eighth time this season that she has been in double figures.
After four conference games, the Wildcats are in second-to-last place, only ahead of Eastern Washington University. UM is only one place in front of WSU, while MSU is in fifth place. ISU is on top of the conference with a record of 4-0.
The Wildcats have been much improved this season, Peterson’s second as head coach. Last year, WSU won three matches, losing the majority of its games in Peterson’s first season. The team has already surpassed its win total from last season.
Following the games against UM and MSU, the Wildcats will stay on the road and head to Idaho to take on conference rival ISU. The team will then travel to California to face Sacramento State University before returning home in October.