Volleyball hit more Big Sky action

The Portland State volleyball team will be on the road again this weekend for more Big Sky action against Idaho State and Weber State.

The Vikings (9-3, 0-1) opened conference play September 26 with a road loss to the defending Big Sky champion Eastern Washington Eagles. This weekend, the Viks will try to improve on their match against the Eagles, in which PSU was held to .128 hitting percentage and lost all three games.

By the time you read this, Portland State will have played the Idaho State Bengals (10-2, 1-1) last night night. The results of that game were unavailable at press time. PSU leads the all-time series against the Bengals 16-9, but the Bengals have shown that they are capable of handling the Vikings in conference play with a record of 9-5.

The Vikings will have to watch out for the Bengal’s junior outside hitter Ali Gorny who leads her team with 246 kills, averaging 4.56 kpg. Gorny is also a defense force as she leads the Bengals in digs with 186, averaging 3.44 dpg. Gorny has three career triple double matches, one of which came against the Vikings (14 kills, 12 assists and 18 digs.)

Gorny was an all Big Sky honorable mention for the 2002 season.

The last time Portland State took on Idaho State was last season on November 9. The Vikings earned their ninth win of the season, taking all three games in the match.

From Idaho, PSU will travel to Ogden, Utah to take on the Weber State Wildcats (10-4, 1-1) on Saturday night. The Vikings lead in the all-time series 12-11, but with a record of 11-3, the Wildcats own the Viks in conference play.

The last time the two schools met was on November 7 of last season when the Wildcats beat the Vikings in four games.

PSU will be on the lookout for senior outside hitter Stephanie Birch, who leads the Wildcats with 176 kills and 3.59 kpg average. She also leads the team in digs with 118 and an average of 2.20 dpg. Birch also leads Weber State with a .219 hitting percentage and was a first team all Big Sky selection last season.

Portland State, starting four newcomers this weekend, will be led by 2002 second team all Big Sky player Richell Wilson. Wilson leads the Vikings with 178 kills on the season and an average of 4.24 kpg.

Freshman Jessica Vanzant will be also be a force for the Viks. She leads PSU with a .357 hitting percentage and 26 service aces. She also leads the team in solo blocks with 19.

Helping on the defensive side will be freshman Sarah Leenders, who leads the Viks with 116 digs, and an average of 2.76 dpg.