For Wildcats, third is the word at BYU meet

Sep 14 2013 - 10:49pm

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Photo courtesy of Weber State athletics
Weber State runners Kelsey Braithwaite (77) and Summer Harper (79) battle BYU and Portland runners on Saturday in the BYU Autumn Classic in Provo.
Photo courtesy of Weber State athletics
Weber State runners Kelsey Braithwaite (77) and Summer Harper (79) battle BYU and Portland runners on Saturday in the BYU Autumn Classic in Provo.

PROVO -- The Weber State men's and women's cross country teams both took third place at the BYU Autumn Classic Saturday.

The women's team totaled 52 points to finish third in the meet behind BYU and Portland. Running in her first collegiate meet, Weber State was led by freshman Summer Harper who finished third overall with a time of 18:14.0 on the 5K course. Harper, a native of Orem, was less than one second behind the second-place finisher. Freshman Kelsey Braithwaite finished fourth overall with a time of 18:17.3.

The next Wildcat runner was sophomore Jamie Stokes who took 14th place at 18:54.5. Freshman Hailey Ricks was 15th at 18:59.5 and freshman Amanda Ward took 24th place at 19:34.5.

The Wildcats were running without All-American Amber Henry, who missed Saturday's meet after getting married on Friday.

"The women's team ran very well today," said WSU coach Paul Pilkington. "Our top runners were all freshmen and sophomore and they performed very well. Summer ran a great race for her first career meet. We didn't have Amber running today but I feel good about how we performed."

On the men's side the Wildcats totaled 91 points to take third place. BYU won the meet with 25 points and Portland was second with 33. Both of those teams are ranked in the top eight in the nation.

WSU's top finisher was junior Trevor Ricks who finished 13th overall with a time of 20:30.4 on the four mile course.

Thomas "Tip" Worob was WSU's second runner at 20:47.3, finishing 19th overall. Junior Tyler Robinson finished 23rd with a time of 21:05.4.

Freshman Preston Johnson was 39th overall and freshman Jacob Calvillo finished 44th.

"Our top three runners performed well once again and our freshmen made improvements from last week," Pilkington said.

The Wildcats will next return to action Sept. 28 at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis.

Volleyball

* WSU SPLITS IN TOURNEY OPENER: At Philadelphia, the Wildcats found their first day of competition on the East Coast to be a split decision.

The Weber State University women's volleyball team opened up the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West Penn Invitational with a straight-set victory over La Salle, before falling in four sets to Temple in back-to-back matches.

The Wildcats moved to 4-7, ending a six-match skid with the win over the Explorers.

Against La Salle, junior outside hitter Audrey Biggs had 10 kills in 15 attempts, hitting .600 to help lead Weber State to the 26-24, 25-18, 25-15 win in just 80 minutes.

The Wildcats hit a sizzling .373 for the match and had 12 service aces. Sophomore middle blocker Audrey Hunter had seven kills and hit .500, while freshman middle blocker Katie Harvey had six kills and hit .500 with a pair of service aces.

Junior libero McKay Tarbox added 14 digs and three service aces for the Wildcats.

The Explorers used a late push to take a 24-22 lead in the opening set, but back-to-back kills by Hunter and sophomore outside hitter Rebecca Fuchs tied the set at 24-24 and La Salle committed consecutive attacking errors as Weber State claimed the set to go up 1-0 in the match.

The Wildcats came roaring out in the second set and never trailed, breaking away from a 12-12 tie to score 13 of the last 19 points in the set and take a 2-0 lead.

The final set was perhaps WSU's best set of the season as it hit .593, with 17 kills and just one error, as the Wildcats pulled away from a 3-3 tie to coast to the sweep.

Against Temple, Biggs again led the Wildcats with nine kills and a .208 hitting percentage, but Weber State fell 25-14, 25-11, 23-25, 25-19 to the streaking Owls, who won their sixth straight match.

The Wildcats hit just -.009 against in the match, but did block solidly, recording 10.5 team blocks.

Harvey had five blocks, while Biggs, senior outside hitter Shanae Burgin, and freshman outside hitter Ciera Borho each had three. Tarbox added 17 digs and a service ace.

Playing just 45 minutes after completing the match with La Salle, Weber State raced out to an early 4-0 lead in the opening set, but Temple caught fire and scored seven straight points to take the early lead and gradually expanded it to the final 11-point margin.

In the second set the Owls scored seven of the first 10 points and used runs of 6-0 and 5-0 to pull away from the Wildcats and open a 2-0 lead in the match.

With Temple up 18-11 in the third set, Weber State finally grabbed some momentum and used a 10-2 surge to take a 21-20 lead. The Owls tied things up at 22 and 23, but a kill by freshman middle blocker Tanisha Langston and an attack error by Temple gave the Wildcats the set to make it a 2-1 match.

An early 5-0 surge put the Owls up 10-4 in the fourth set and the Wildcats could get no closer than three as Temple closed things out.

Weber State will be back in action today against American (10 a.m.) and tournament host Penn (4 p.m.) as action continues at the tournament.

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