The Weber State University volleyball team defeated Northern Arizona for the second time this season in a well fought, five-set match Thursday night.
"What another incredible match," said head coach Jeremiah Larsen. "I am so proud of our women. They stepped up and came through in the clutch, which is something we have been struggling with all season. It tells me that we are learning through adversity in order for us to beat a team with the caliber of NAU."
In the first set, Weber State and Northern Arizona stayed close to each other in scoring, as things remained within one point or tied until the final points of the set. Weber State found a little footing with a 23-21 lead, but a Wildcat error gave NAU a little life back.
A kill by Megan Gneiting put things at set point with a 24-23 score, and Andrea Hale rounded things out with a kill to give Weber State the first-set win, 25-23.
Weber State did a good job of maintaining a lead and holding and preventing NAU from taking control. The Wildcats even made a 5-1 run mid-set to give them a 16-10 lead over the Lumberjacks. WSU pushed on and pulled out the second-set win, 25-18.
The Wildcats trailed most of the third game but managed to come back and tie things up late in the game with a 21-21 score. Northern Arizona came up with the third-set victory, though, with a 25-23 score.
Weber State still had a two-sets-to-one lead over Northern Arizona going into the fourth set, but NAU's third-set victory gave it the momentum to drive through the fourth set capturing a 19-14 lead over WSU. The Wildcats made a 4-0 surge to narrow the score gap, but the Lumberjacks trucked on for a 25-20 third-set victory.
Things were all tied up at two games for each team forcing things to go into a fifth set. Weber State finally found some footing and started the fifth set on a 4-0 run. The two teams battled back and forth until Weber State went on another 4-0 run to give it a 12-7 lead heading into the home stretch.
WSU finished out the fifth set with back-to-back kills by Hale to give the Wildcats the 15-11 fifth-set victory and the overall match win.
Weber State was led by Hale who had 21 kills from 55 attacks with six errors for a .273 percentage. Gneiting also put up double figures for WSU with a career high of 18 kills and a career high of 60 attacks. Amanda Varley also added 18 kills for WSU. To round out the WSU offensive efforts, Ashlyn Power had 60 assists.
Gneiting also had a career high in defensive efforts with 16 digs. Thamires Cavalcanti had the match high with 25 digs. Varley also had 16, and Power added 12. Hannah Hill-DeYoung also had strong defensive efforts with her nine blocks on the night.
Weber State finished the match off with 70 kills on 188 attacks with 31 errors for a .207 percentage. For the first time this season, WSU finished with more than 90 digs posting 92 on the night. Weber State also finished with 10 team blocks.
Northern Arizona ended the night with 54 kills on 189 attacks with 26 errors for a .148 percentage. The Lumberjacks posted 80 digs and 10 team blocks.
The Wildcats are now 7-18 overall and 5-8 in Big Sky Conference play. Weber State has its final road match Saturday at 12:30 p.m., against Southern Utah.