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The Weber State University volleyball team continued its play at the Wolf Pack Invitational last Saturday as it battled against Illinois State University and played a rematch of a five-set thriller with Grand Canyon University, which the Wildcats defeated just a week ago at Wildcat Weekend.
Head coach Tom Peterson said he knew from the start of the season that the team’s success would be highly based on how fast its inexperience turned into experience. With every match, the Wildcats are gaining experience, but that hasn’t come without some bumps and bruises.
ISU beat the Wildcats in three sets (25-9, 25-21, 25-15) to send them to their fourth-straight loss. The team was once again led by junior Audrey Biggs with eight kills, and sophomore Rebecca Fuchs lent some support with seven kills of her own, as the rest of the team combined for a total of eight kills.
“As we all talk between coaches and with the players, we realize that we have all the talent to compete, but we are just inconsistent at times,” Peterson said. “When we are up, we need to stay up and keep our intensity at a high level. If we get consistent, we will be a very good team. As a team, we are just like a car. If that car isn’t running on all six cylinders, then it won’t move as fast. We need to get all our cylinders moving at the same time.”
WSU’s last game of the tournament was against GCU. The Wildcats came out strong as they won the first set and made a valiant attempt to steal the second set after falling behind early.
After splitting the next two sets, the fifth and final set was tied 8-8 when the Antelopes were able to find another gear and go on a 7-1 run to finish the match. GCU walked away with a revenge victory over the Wildcats (17-25, 29-27, 25-20, 18-25, 15-9).
Like the game before, Biggs and Fuchs were the big arms, with 14 kills and three blocks apiece. Sophomore Audrey Hunter made an immediate impact on both the offensive and defensive side of the net with nine kills and seven blocks.
Freshman Megan Bean, who finished the last two matches with a total of nine kills, said the weekend was a time of growth and experience for the young team. She said she feels she is progressing in her game but that the team is gaining the experience Peterson has instilled in his team since the first day.
“We are a young team and have been going through the emotions,” Bean said. “But the coaches have pushed us along and have taught us to gain the most from these learning experiences. I am starting to come along, which my teammates and coaches have played a huge role in. They are always encouraging me to work hard. I am not where I want to be right now, but I know I can get there.”
The Wildcats will head on the road again as they travel to Philadelphia, Penn., to take part in the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West Tournament Sept. 14-15.