October 23, 2010

Eagles Nab First Conference Road Win with 3-1 Victory over Bengals

Eags sizzle in third and fourth sets; earn fifth-consecutive win against Idaho State

The Eastern Washington University volleyball team excelled on both the offensive and defensive ends of the ball on Friday (Oct. 23) in Pocatello, Idaho, as it recorded a season-high 16.5 blocks and 59 kills en route to a 3-1 (25-23, 20-25, 25-16, 25-21) victory over the Bengals of Idaho State.

For the second year in a row, Eastern swept the regular-season series with ISU, while the victory at Reed Gym also marked the first road win for EWU in this 2010 Big Sky season. Eastern is now 4-6 in league play and 5-15 overall, while Idaho State falls to 13-10 on the season and 5-15 in the BSC.

The Eags had four players earn double-digit kills, including senior Chenoa Coviare, who led all hitters in the match with 15. The Medford, Ore., native also earned her 450th  career block, after tallying a team-leading nine total on the night.

Sophomore Shelby Puckett had one of her most efficient outings of the year, as she contributed 14 kills with only one error on her 34 attempts. Her .382 hitting efficiency was the best among all players on the court, while Puckett also set a career-high in blocks with seven. Redshirt-freshman Ashley Wright earned the first double-double of her career, as she chipped in 10 kills and 11 digs.

Senior Alysha Cook was the fourth Eagle to eclipse double-digits, as she tallied 10 on a .269 clip. As a team, Eastern recorded a .239 attack percentage, while holding its opponent to a dismal .107 efficiency.

"I was really proud of the way the team came out and competed tonight, especially in the wake of a tough loss last night," applauded EWU head coach Miles Kydd, "We looked comfortable and confident. We passed the ball really well, which enabled us to go through the middle and right side. Our setters did a great job of running the offense."

Redshirt-freshman Lindsay Niemeier tallied 32 assists and 11 digs for her third double-double of the year, while sophomore Laney Brown chipped in 17 assists and five digs.

The Eagles and Bengals were tied at one set apiece going into the break, but Eastern came out of the locker room determined, as they took the third set handily at 25-16. Eastern built a 23-17 lead on ISU in the fourth set, but the Bengals enjoyed a late surge, as they scored four of the next five points to pull within three at 24-21. Kydd called a timeout to regroup his team for match point, and on the first serve, Wright was able to put it away with an authoritative kill. Ten of Eastern's 16.5 team blocks were recorded between the third and fourth sets.

The Eagles will return to Reese Court for three-consecutive home matches, beginning with a showdown with Montana State on Friday (Oct. 29). Eastern will look to avenge a four-set loss to the Bobcats, suffered in Bozeman on Sept. 18 during the first weekend of conference play.

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