October 2, 2009

Eastern Outlasts Rivals Sacramento State in Four

Todorovich hits .533 in the contest and contributes 10 kills and five blocks to EWU's win

Box Score

The Eastern Washington University volleyball team rallied from a poor performance in the first set for a 15-25, 25-16, 25-17, 25-23 win over long-time rival Sacramento State on Friday evening (Oct. 2). The victory moved the Eagles to 5-0 in Big Sky Conference play, 10-5 overall.

The first set was close up until Sacramento State (9-8, 1-2 BSC) pulled away from a 13-13 deadlock with a 12-2 run to end the stanza. In set two, Eastern Washington jumped out to a 10-4 lead and went up by as many as 10 on three different occasions (19-9, 23-13 and 24-14) before securing the win.

The third set was similar to the first except this time it was Eastern Washington who pulled away from a 15-15 tie with a set-ending 10-2 spurt. The fourth set was tight throughout, as neither team went up by more than three. With Eastern holding a precarious 24-23 lead, Hayley Hills put away the match with an impressive kill.

That putaway gave Hills her 12th kill of the match, which led the team. Sara Todorovich, however, had an impressive kill total in addition to a top-notch hitting percentage, as her 10 kills helped the junior hit .533 in the contest (10-2-15). She also had a match-high five blocks.

Ashley Hamilton tallied 38 assists in the contest and had four blocks in the contest, as did Chenoa Coviare. Defensively, Jacque Brown set the team pace in digs tonight with 15, while Lindsey Petroni contributed 14 to tonight's victory.

Although the Eagles have changed the tide of this rivalry with their third straight win versus the Hornets after Sacramento State took the previous 10 match-ups, every meeting remains close. A year ago, EWU won 3-2 at home before finishing off a 3-1 win in Sacramento with a marathon fourth set victory, 36-34.

 "These are the dog days of October," head coach Miles Kydd said of the team's less-than-stellar performance. "We are two months into the season, kind of dragging. We have the weekend off, so hopefully we will get rejuvenated."

The Eagles will now look ahead to their annual contest with local rival Gonzaga. First serve at Reese Court is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday (Oct. 6). The Bulldogs are 4-8 after defeating Big Sky team Montana 3-1 on Tuesday (Sept. 29). Gonzaga hosts Portland in a West Coast Conference match on Saturday (Oct. 3).

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