Mizzou’s efficient offense proves too much for Eagles
The Eastern Washington University volleyball team dropped its first match of the Pepperdine Asics Classic, as it fell to Missouri, 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-17) on Friday in Malibu, Calif. Eastern drops to 1-3 on the season, while the Tigers remain unbeaten at 4-0.
The Eagles struggled to gain any momentum against the Tigers, as the team in black and gold was solid on both the offensive and defensive ends. Mizzou enjoyed a 48-28 advantage in kills, and tallied 45 total digs, compared to 30 digs for the Eagles. The Tigers had three players hit above .300 in the match, including senior Paola Ampudia, who led all players with 16 kills. MU’s middle blocker Catie Wilson notched seven kills on 12 errorless attacks for a team-high .583 hitting percentage.
The Eagles were led by senior Jacque Brown, who had seven kills and only one error in her 16 attempts. Brown also had six digs for the Eagles. Senior Allison Reinstein had an all-around solid performance as well, recording five kills, two blocks and two service aces. Sophomore Shelby Puckett tallied seven kills, but struggled behind the line, as she accounted for four of Eastern’s 10 service errors. Redshirt-freshman Lindsay Niemeier had 19 assists for the Eags, while also contributing five digs.
After Missouri took the first set pretty handily at 25-16, Eastern answered with a strong start in the second. A solo block by Reinstein and back-to-back kills by Chenoa Coviare and Puckett gave Eastern an early 5-1 advantage. The Tigers responded though, scoring eight of the next 11 points to earn a 9-7 edge. Although never regaining the lead, Eastern stayed close throughout the remainder of the set, never trailing by more than four. The Eagles pulled within two at 23-21, but a kill by MU’s Wilson followed by an EWU service error allowed Missouri to take the set 25-22.
The Tigers used the momentum from the tight victory in the second to dominate play in the third. As a team, Missouri hit .424, while holding the Eagles to a .129 hitting percentage.
Eastern will continue play from the Pepeprdine Asics Classic on Saturday, as it takes on host-school Pepperdine at 10 a.m., followed by Rice at 5 p.m. Live stats for both matches are available via www.goeags.com, while the match against Pepperdine can be viewed free of charge at http://www.pepperdinesports.com/allaccess/\