Eagles Fall in Three to Portland State

Eagles give up two points in Dam Cup rivalry; look ahead to home games versus NAU and UNC

The Eastern Washington University volleyball team fell victim to an efficient Portland State offense, as the Vikings swept Eastern, 3-0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-16) on Saturday (Oct. 9) in Portland, Ore. With the loss, the Eagles fall to 3-13 on the season and 2-4 in Big Sky action, while Portland State improves its overall record to 10-7 and league mark to 5-1. The Vikings also earned two points in the initial "Dam Cup" rivalry between Eastern Washington and Portland State.

The Eagles struggled to put the ball away against the Vikings, as they recorded only 26 kills with 15 errors on 88 total attempts. Conversely, Portland State recorded 47 kills on a .396 hitting efficiency. The Vikings also had seven service aces and 41 digs, compared to 32 pickups for the Eagles.

The Eagles and Vikings traded points in the early goings of the first set, but back-to-back kills by PSU's Megan Ellis sparked a six-point run by the Vikings to give the home team a 21-12 advantage. After a timeout called by EWU head coach Miles Kydd, senior Alysha Cook had two commanding kills, but it was not enough to shift the momentum, as Portland State took the first frame 25-15 with a blistering .419 attack percentage.

Unfortunately, the Vikings did not fade after their strong performance in the first. PSU hit a .394 clip in the second set and .372 in the third, while holding the Eagles to just 18 kills with 11 errors in the final two games.

Despite Eastern's miscues, Cook had an impressive outing, as she had nine kills and only two errors in her 17 attempts, while also contributing two blocks. Freshman Esther Warren recorded four kills, while sophomore setter Laney Brown finished the night with 22 assists. Freshmen defensive specialists Celeste Crosby and Tyler Calles accounted for 14 of Eastern's 32 total digs.

The Eagles will return to the friendly and familiar Reese Court for its next two conference matchups, as it takes on Northern Arizona on Friday (Oct. 15) and Northern Colorado on Saturday (Oct. 16). Both contests are scheduled for a 7 p.m. start. In the last decade, the Eagles have won 85 percent of the games played at Reese Court, which includes two BSC wins already in the 2010 season.

THE DAM CUP - The Eastern Washington University Eagles and the Portland State University Vikings will begin a five-sport rivalry cup called The Dam Cup in 2010-11. The Dam Cup will celebrate the friendly rivalry between the states of Oregon and Washington within the Big Sky Conference. The so-named rivalry refers to the four dams linking Oregon and Washington that one passes on the 339-mile drive from the Portland State campus to the Eastern Washington campus. Located along the Columbia River, they are Bonneville Dam, The Dalles Dam, The John Day Dam and the McNary Dam. The five sports competing for the cup are football, women's soccer, women's volleyball, women's basketball and men's basketball. The Dam Cup is based on a point system, with points only rewarded for regular season contests.

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