LOGAN -- The Wildcats kicked off the new season in style.
Led by 15 kills and five blocks from freshman outside hitter Rebecca Fuchs, the Weber State volleyball team opened up the 2012 season with a 25-22, 13-25, 27-25, 25-19 over the University of Portland on Friday evening at Utah State's Smith Spectrum.
Fuchs, a redshirt freshman who transferred from Utah in the spring, had 15 kills, hitting .393, along with five block assists and six digs in her first official match for the Purple and White.
Sophomore Audrey Biggs added nine kills, while junior Briana Wilms had seven kills and three blocks. Senior setter Caitlin Penrod had 26 assists and a pair of service aces, senior libero Laurel Bodily added 15 digs, and senior Dama Cox had six kills and five blocks, including a solo.
As a team, Weber State finished with 10.5 blocks, with four players recording three or more blocks in the match.
Weber State (1-0) hit .222 with 10 kills in the first set in taking the three point win, pulling away after trailing early in the set.
Not much seemed to go right for the Wildcats in the second set as they hit -.042 and suffered a decisive set loss as the Pilots leveled the match at 1-1.
Portland looked to be taking control of the match in the third set, staking out a 22-17 lead, but Weber State dug down and rallied to tie the match at 23-23, and then surged ahead 24-23. The Pilots tied things up at 24 and 25, but the Wildcats had answers each time and finished it out to take the 27-25 win and a 2-1 lead in the match. Wilms and freshman Audrey Gee each had a pair of late kills in the set, with Gee putting down the set-point. WSU hit .250 with 15 kills in the third set.
The Wildcats went up 1-0 in the fourth set, but after the Pilots tied things up at 2-2, Weber State led the rest of the way. Fuchs had five kills in the fourth set, including the match-winning point.
In other matches, Utah topped Southern Utah 3-0, and Utah State defeated Portland 3-0.
Weber State will be back in action today at noon when the Wildcats take on in-state rival Utah in the second match of the Utah State Invitational at Smith Spectrum. WSU will also face host Utah State on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. to round out the tourney.