Eastern Washington led by Hills' 21 kills, plays next at Idaho State on Friday
The Eastern Washington University volleyball team got its first weekend of Big Sky Conference play off to a perfect start, moving to 2-0 in league play with a home win over Montana State, 25-14, 25-21, 25-17 on Saturday evening (Sept. 19).
"It was the first match we won this year, 3-0," head coach Miles Kydd said. "It is nice to not have to play any extra sets."
Eastern Washington was led offensively by Hayley Hills, who had 21 kills, a season high for any Eagle and an especially impressive number considering the match went just three sets. She also hit .229 in the contest (21-10-48). In the third set alone, she had 11 kills and hit .400 (11-3-20).
"This was the first time Hayley went off this year," Kydd said. "When she is hot, we try to get her the ball and let her go."
Two Eagles hit .300 or higher tonight, including Chenoa Coviare (.312, 6-1-16) and Cora Kellerman (.300, 5-2-10). Ashley Hamilton tallied 34 assists in the contest.
Defensively, JaNae Mortensen set the team pace in digs with 18, while Jacque Brown was just behind her with 16. Hills contributed 11 digs to record her fourth double-double of the campaign and second in two nights.
Eastern (6-5, 2-0 BSC) pulled away in the first set, jumping out to a 21-12 lead before prevailing 25-14.
The second set, however, saw Montana State (2-9, 0-2 BSC) stay right with the Eagles, even jumping out to an early 13-6 lead. At that point, Eastern Washington went on an 8-1 run to tie the set, 14-14, and the teams stayed close until 21-21. At that point, EWU went on another 4-0 spurt to win 25-21.
"My only disappointment (tonight) was in our second set when we were down 13-6," Kydd said. "Other than that, I thought we did well tonight."
In set three, Eastern went up 15-9 and 21-12 before claiming a 25-17 win.
Another nice crowd of 1,061 cheered on the Eagles tonight (1,311 saw EWU defeat Montana 3-1 last night, the team's largest crowd in three years).
The Eagles now hit the road for their first two Big Sky matches away from home. On Friday (Sept. 25), Eastern Washington plays Idaho State (5-6, 1-1 BSC) at 6 p.m. Pacific Time.