Eagles lose hold of early lead in final tournament game
The Eastern Washington University women’s volleyball team wrapped up day two at the Gonzaga Invite, falling 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-21) to the Gonzaga Bulldogs, Saturday (Sept. 1) in Spokane, Wash.
The Eagles started out the match strong, maintaining a three point lead in the beginning of the first set. They had a 14-9 run until a kill by Gonzaga's Jordan Gasser sent the Bulldogs on a six-point scoring spree. The Eagles fought hard to turn the set around and a well executed kill by Talia Fermantez brought the red and white within one at 21-20. Three consecutive kills by GU's Savanna Blinn gave the Bulldogs the advantage they needed, leading to the final 25-21 score in set one. The Eagles recorded a .312 hitting percentage in the first, but the Bulldogs were slightly better with a .333.
Eastern was unable to regain the role of frontrunner the rest of the contest. Gonzaga had a .300 hitting percentage to Eastern’s .154, however, Eagle setter Ashley Wright hit .636 – the highest in the match.
An early kill by Wright in the second set, along with an ace by Kelsey Julian put Eastern off on a good foot, but several successive errors for the Eags left them trailing the rest of the set. The Eagles recorded nine kills, but could not find the rhythm they needed to overcome the Bulldogs.
In the third set, the Eagles kept it close, only allowing the Bulldogs a two point lead the majority of the set. Blinn was able to widen the gap with back-to-back kills that gave the Bulldogs a 17-13 advantage. A kill by senior Shelby Puckett off an assist by Wright got the Eags back in the game, as they trailed by a mere two at 20-18. The Bulldogs were relentless though and used two more kills by Blinn and two unforced errors by the Eagles to finish off the match.
Eastern will travel to Boise State on Wednesday (Sept. 5). Match time is set for 6:00 p.m.