The Weber State Wildcats volleyball team sent the Portland State Vikings back to the Beaver State with a disappointing loss after WSU swept them 3-0.
The Wildcats came into the game 10-5 after a loss to Northern Colorado on their home floor. They looked to regain their stride against the 7-8 Vikings, who had won their last three games.
The first set was smooth sailing for Weber as they won 25-12. It was a combination of Weber playing well and Portland not being on their game, as only two Vikings had a positive attack percentage. PSU as a team finished the set with a -.088 attack percentage, while Weber had a very respectable .303.
WSU senior middle blocker Aubrey Adams finished the set with two blocks, and she would continue to showcase outstanding defense throughout the rest of the game.
Adams finished with a total of nine blocks. To put that in perspective, Portland as a team only had one. “We’ve been focusing a lot on just getting our hands over the net, and the coaches have been really good working with us.”
The ‘Cats would need her defensive efforts as PSU started the second set with an entirely new intensity that seemed to come out of nowhere. WSU seemed caught off guard and took a timeout to regroup.
Whatever head coach Jeremiah Larsen said to his team worked, because they came back out with a renewed passion and vigor.
“We were forgetting what we were doing so well in game one…I tried to remind them, ‘Hey, we have got to stay true to our task, try not to do too much and be true to who we are,’” Coach Larsen said.
As the set was tied at 16, Weber and Portland were locked into a long, intense volley that featured several close calls until eventually WSU’s junior outside hitter Kennedy Williams gave her squad the lead with an emphatic kill.
Each passing second made the atmosphere in the gym grow more and more intense as side conversations came to a halt, and the gym grew loud with cheers and yelling. The Wildcats seemed to feed off of the energy from everyone in the gym as the momentum guided them to clinch the second set.
The third set saw an energized and excited ‘Cats squad finish off a visibly frustrated and defeated PSU team. WSU played their best volleyball of the night, finishing the set with only two errors.
The same could not be said for the Vikings as many of their serves hit the net. The Vikes’ finished the set with nine errors. On the defensive end, the effort was low and Weber State ended their night with a sweep.
Portland State will drop to 7-9, but they are still 3-2 in conference play. Meanwhile, the Wildcats are 11-5 overall and 2-3 in conference.
The next game for the Wildcats will be at home against the Sacramento State Hornets, who hold a 8-10 record and were the winners of their last two games. The Hornets will be looking to give WSU a home loss, which won’t come easy as they are 4-2 in the Swenson complex.
After facing the Hornets, the ‘Cats will head up to Montana State to face the Bobcats, who finished with a 11-19 record last season but are currently staying afloat at 7-6.
Beating these middle of the pack teams should help the ‘Cats gain confidence heading into the final stretch of the season.
Faithful Weber fans will be looking on as the Wildcats seem poised to make a run for the Big Sky Championship and claim their place at the top of the conference.