(Photo by Michael Grennell)
(Photo by Michael Grennell)

The beginning of the new season is near for the Weber State volleyball team as they look to improve upon their 2013 finish. However, this season the Big Sky Conference will feature some new format changes for volleyball.

With the University of Idaho rejoining the conference, there will be 12 volleyball teams in the Big Sky Conference. The league and coaches voted on splitting the conference into two, six-team divisions.

The Wildcats will be part of the Big Sky South Division. The rest of the division consists of Idaho State, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Sacramento State and Southern Utah.

The North division will consist of Eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, Montana State, North Dakota and Northern Colorado.

For the first time in the Big Sky history, the championship for the upcoming season will consist of eight teams. The top eight teams who end the year with the best conference records, regardless of how they finish in their division, will qualify for the championship. The host of the conference tournament will be the team with the best overall season record.

Last season Portland State and North Dakota ended up tying for the regular-season title. Idaho State captured the 2013 Big Sky Conference Championship.

Big Sky volleyball teams open play on Friday, Aug. 29. The first conference matches are Thursday, Sept. 25.

The Wildcats’ season will start out with some tournament play, as they will compete in The Hawk’s Holiday Hullaballoo, Air Force Invitational, University of Wyoming Invitational and Lone Star Showdown before their first home game of the year on Thursday, Sept. 25 against Montana.

You can follow David Winkworth on Twitter @RealDavidVito for more news on Weber State Athletics.

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