Wildcats win five-set thriller vs. Northern Arizona
Courtesy: Weber State  
Release: Saturday 11/11/2011

OGDEN, Utah - The season might be winding down, but these Wildcats are playing for more than pride.

Junior outside hitter Bethany Wray had her 10th career double-double, leading the way as the Weber State University women's volleyball team won a nail-biting five-set marathon against Northern Arizona on Friday night at Swenson Gym.

Wray had a match high-tying 16 kills and a career-high 26 digs as the Wildcats won 25-16, 22-25, 20-25, 25-19, 15-13, earning a season-series sweep of the Lumberjacks.

"It was just a tremendous all-around effort from our players tonight," Weber State coach Tom Peterson said. "That's a very good team we beat, and they played well tonight. Our players really competed hard. It was a fun match."

Junior middle blocker Dama Cox added a career-high 16 kills, five blocks and a trio of service aces, while sophomore outside hitter Briana Wilms added 14 kills and eight blocks, giving the Wildcats a 1-2-3 punch.

"It's amazing to see what happens when everyone decides to show up at once," Wray said. "We beat NAU before so we knew it was possible. They key tonight was teamwork. We had a few people in different positions defensively, which really made a huge difference.

"A big thanks to our amazing supporters, who continually take time to attend our matches. They made a world of difference tonight and always."

In addition the triumvirate, Peterson also pointed to sophomore outside hitter Piper Wahlin, redshirt freshman middle blocker Ashley Orr and junior setter Caitlin Penrod, who each had five kills for the Wildcats as they found gaps in the middle of the net as Northern Arizona tried to defend Weber State's outside hitters.

Penrod had 50 assists, her second-highest career output, along with eight digs and five blocks, while Orr added five blocks and two digs, and Wahlin had a season-high nine digs.

As a team, the Wildcats reached season highs in kills (62) and digs (71). The 71 digs was the most for Weber State since November of 2009.

After trading wins in the first four sets, it came down to a decisive fifth set for a sixth time this season.

Weber State surged ahead 8-4 at the midpoint, taking the lead into the end-change for the first time this season. The Wildcats led 12-8 before the Lumberjacks rallied to make to make it 12-11.

The teams traded points the rest of the way before the Wildcats closed it out on an attack error by the Lumberjacks.

Weber State will host its final home match of the season on Saturday night against league-leading Northern Colorado. First serve is set for 7 p.m.