In front of a crowd made up of several volleyball teams around the Ogden area, the Weber State University volleyball team took on the University of Montana Grizzlies on Friday night. The Wildcats lost the match in four sets (18-25, 25-21, 22-25, 18-25).
“They just out-executed us,” said WSU head coach Tom Peterson. “I don’t think they did anything special. If we play good and they play good, I like our chances. They are a well-coached team and they outplayed us tonight. With all our errors, you can’t expect to win.”
In the first set, the Wildcats got up on the board quickly, jumping to a 5-1 lead. UM climbed right back in, scoring nine straight points off of stellar blocking, taking a 10-5 lead. The game went back and forth from that point, leaving WSU unable to get back up. The Wildcats dropped the first set 25-18.
“(The offense) sputtered at times,” Peterson said. “At this point in the season, you should not see runs of eight or nine points. Big runs can’t happen. It’s OK if those runs are ours. But we can’t let that go on for very long.”
The second set started the way the first finished. Both teams traded spikes and points. The Wildcats went on a run toward the middle of the set, taking a 12-7 lead. WSU’s blocking picked up in the set, causing problems for Grizzly strikers. WSU held off a late surge to win the set 25-21.
“We are a good blocking team,” said WSU sophomore Rebecca Fuchs. “We are tall, we are over the net, we are fast — we just got to finish the block. That’s where they are killing us. They kept killing us in the same spot. We just need to make adjustments, that’s all.”
The Wildcats fell behind right from the get-go in the third set, trailing by as many as six points. They climbed back in, cutting the lead to just one, but were unable to get over the hump, falling 25-22.
The Wildcats once again had a hole to climb out of in the fourth set, falling behind by as many as 10. The Wildcats dropped the set and the match, 25-18.
“You can’t win a game on lots and lots of errors,” Peterson said. “I think there is a point in a game — I can’t tell you how many errors you can have in a game, but we are way over that.”
Fuchs finished the match with a team-high 12 kills on 33 attempts. Fellow Wildcats Audrey Biggs and Ciera Borho added 10 kills. Borho also led the team in digs with 15, tied with McKay Tarbox.
Grizzly Kayla Reno led all players with 14 kills, while her teammate Brooke Bray added 10 kills. UM senior Kortney James added 42 assists to lead all players.
“Losing is never what we want,” Fuchs said, “but making a stride in how we are going to play the next game, if we can’t get this one. Weber State doesn’t give up. We are going to get a nice eight hours of sleep and come back tomorrow and show Montana State what’s up.”
The Wildcats’ next game will be Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Idaho State University in the Swenson Gym.
The volleyball game against Montana State University will be covered in Wednesday’s edition of The Signpost. Updates can also be found online at www.wsusignpost.com.