OGDEN — The Wildcats will make their home volleyball debut with a key match against in-state rival Southern Utah.
After playing its first 11 matches away from home, the Weber State University women’s volleyball team opens up the home portion of its season on Friday night when it takes on in-state rival Southern Utah at 7 p.m. at Swenson Gym.
It will also be the Big Sky Conference opener for both teams.
Saturday, the Wildcats will take on Northern Arizona at 4 p.m.
“We’re really excited to be at home, especially the seniors,” WSU setter Caitlin Penrod said. “We know these teams well.”
Redshirt freshman outside hitter Rebecca Fuchs leads WSU with 108 kills (2.92/set) and is second on the team in digs (1.49/set) after earning Most Valuable Player honors during last weekend’s Tangi Tourism Lion Classic in Hammond, La. Fuchs averaged 3.93 kills and 2.07 digs during the tournament to help lead Weber State to a 4-0 record.
Redshirt freshman Mariah Katoa, sophomore Audrey Biggs and junior Briana Wilms all averaged more than 2.2 kills per set during the weekend, giving the Wildcats some explosive offensive balance.
Penrod averaged 9.29 assists per set, and also had six service aces, earning all-tournament honors.
“Last week was a great momentum builder,” Penrod said. “It was good for us to learn how to fight back from deficits, and how to win. It really was a good experience on and off the court.”
The Wildcats begin conference play on a four-match winning streak and with a 6-5 overall record, the best pre-conference record for Weber State since 2008. The 2008 season was also the last time the Wildcats captured four straight matches.
Friday night’s opener will be the 25th Big Sky opener for Weber State, with the Wildcats posting a 12-12 record in their first Big Sky match.
The match will also be the first-ever Big Sky match for the Thunderbirds, who come in with a 3-7 overall mark.
It will be the seventh meeting between Weber State and Southern Utah, with the Wildcats holding a 5-1 lead in the series, although the teams have not met since 2010.
Northern Arizona comes into this weekend with a Big Sky-best 8-1 record. The Lumberjacks won their first eight matches of the season before falling 3-1 at California last weekend.
Weber State and Northern Arizona have met 64 previous times, with the Lumberjacks holding a 34-29 lead in the series.