In front of a sold out, standing room only crowd, the Weber State University volleyball team took on the top ranked BYU Cougars last Saturday at the Swenson Gym, falling in a three set sweep.
Head coach Jeremiah Larson looked at the loss as a great team effort and has a positive outlook on the upcoming season.
“The goal was to control as much as we knew we could control,” Larsen said. “I think we competed very well against a highly ranked team.”
The Wildcats competed with BYU in each set, staying close behind and fighting until each set was over. During the first set, the Wildcats started strong with a 4—1 lead but shortly lost the lead after a 4—0 run by BYU.
The first set ended with a score of 25—18, favored of BYU.
Like the first set, Weber State started off forceful and competitive, beginning the set with a 4—4 tie with the Cougars. The Cougars managed to gain a lead and had a set point at 24—11. With the help of a loud crowd, the Wildcats fought for seven more points before the Cougars ended the set 25—18.
Weber State remained close behind in the third set. Tying the game at 12—12 with a kill by junior outside hitter Megan Gneiting followed by a block by sophomore blocker Sam Schiess.
The top team in the nation was too much for the Wildcats and finished off the sweep with a 25—16 victory.
“I thought today was really competitive and fun. I love my teammates, they always play super hard,” senior outside hitter Andrea Hale said. “I think this puts us in a great position going into conference.”
Despite the loss, the Wildcats are confident for the upcoming season. Also having two great wins against Utah State and Utah Valley University, they are focused for the games ahead.
Hale, who is the only senior on the team, is ready for a successful season with her young team.
“This game helped us realize we can compete with good teams.” Hale said. “We’re excited.”
Weber State begins the Big Sky Conference against in-state and conference rival Southern Utah tonight at 6:30 p.m. in Cedar City.
“We gotta prepare our side of the court, our defense is solid,” Larsen said. “Our blocking is great and so we need to go and get better every play, every day.”
The Wildcats finished the afternoon with 24 kills lead by Gneiting with eight and Hale with seven.
Weber State is now 5-4 overall and looking forward to start their conference against Southern Utah and Northern Arizona.