Source: Weber State Athletics
Source: Weber State Athletics

The women’s volleyball team returned from the Citizens Equity First Credit Union (CEFCU) Classic in Peoria Illinois this past weekend as the tournament champions, winning all of their games against UMASS Lowell, Bradley and Manhattan.

WSU Junior Megan Thompson was named the tournament MVP with 31 kills and 63 attacks, while sophomores Tanisha Langston and Thamires Cavalcanti were named to the All-Tournament Team honors.

The team’s first game was against UMASS Lowell early Sept 4th. Play was fast and ended in only three sets in favor of Weber State. During the game, Thompson had 21 attacks and 17 kills with a hitting percentage of .524, while Junior Amanda Varely added nine kills of her own. Sophomore Taylor Christensen-Kinikini led the team with 36 assists while Cavalcanti and Langston each contributed a high of 12 digs. Jesse Hover added 10 digs of her own to round off the team’s first game performance. 

“Our goals for the whole weekend were to not worry about who was on the other side of the net and to focus on ourselves,” Jeremiah Larsen, volleyball head coach, said in a statement. “We wanted to get better every play and leave the court better than when we entered.”

Later that day, WSU geared up to play tournament hosts Bradley University. After four sets, Weber won 3-1 after falling behind in both the third and fourth sets. Several clutch blocks changed the momentum of the third set, giving the Wildcats a strategic reprisal to claim the set. Highlights included Christensen-Kinikini making 44 assists against the Braves, which marked a new season high for her. Thompson led the Wildcats with a hitting percentage of .409, a kill score of 10 and 22 attacks. Langston had 31 attacks and 13 kills, while Cavalcanti had 19 digs. Weber State had 13 team blocks in comparison to Bradley’s 10.

After two straight wins the Wildcats were fired up for their last game of the tournament. Saturday morning the Wildcats played Manhattan and won in three consecutive sets. Thompson again led in kills with a total of 12 and a hitting percentage of .550. Ciera Borho had 32 attacks while Christensen-Kinikini put up 32 assists and Cavalcanti added 14 digs. Weber State with 15 team blocks compared to five from Manhattan. 

“It was a completely different team than the week before,” Larsen said. “We are making great progress on the things that we’ve been working on. It’s not just one kid it’s a solid effort from everyone.”

The team is now 3-3 this season and will be heading to Reno, Nevada to play Nevada and Miami (Ohio) in the Reno Tournament. They will follow that up with a trip to Colorado to participate in the Omni Invitational Tournament in Boulder. This will be their last tournament of the season.

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