@EWUVolleyball Opens October At Southern Utah, Northern Arizona

Matchday Information

at Southern Utah at Northern Arizona
Thursday, Oct. 3 | 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 | 7 p.m.
Centum Arena | Cedar City, Utah J.C. Rolle Activity Center | Flagstaff, Ariz.
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The Eastern Washington women's volleyball team will open the month of October on the road, taking on Southern Utah and Northern Arizona in Big Sky matches. The Eagles square off with the Thunderbirds on Thursday, Oct. 3, at 6 p.m. before facing the Lumberjacks on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Eastern (5-10, 2-2 Big Sky) split a pair of conference matches last weekend at Reese Court, besting Montana State in five sets before falling to Montana in four. EWU and MSU split the opening two sets before the Eagles handily won the third frame. They looked on their way to an easy four-set win, but the Bobcats rallied to score the final five points of the set, erasing an eight-point advantage to force a decisive fifth set. Eastern responded to claim the fifth frame, controlling the set from the start. The Eagles could never get on track against Montana, committing an uncharacteristic amount of errors as Montana won the first two sets. EWU looked rejuvinated in the third frame but were unable to sustain any momentum as the Griz claimed the fourth set and the match.

Senior Lindsay Niemeier notched her third double-double of the year against the Bobcats, going for 30 assists and 12 digs, adding four kills, two blocks and two service aces. Sophomore Allie Schumacher led the team with 18 kills against MSU, hitting .325 (18-5-40) for the match. She set a new career high with five service aces and added seven digs and three blocks. Both Schumacher and junior Melissa Waelter recorded double-digit kills against Montana, going for 16 kills and 10 kills, respectively. Junior Talia Fermantez added seven kills and a team-high four blocks.

Schumacher has upped her play in Big Sky matches, averaging 3.88 kills per set in league contests compared to 2.55 kills per set in nonconference play. Her BSC averaged ranks third in the conference, and she has led Eastern in kills in each of its last five matches.

Southern Utah (2-12, 1-3 BSC) enters Thursday's tilt on a four-match skid, having won just a single set in its last four outings. The Thunderbirds were swept by both Sacramento State and Northern Arizona this past week. Kylie Schofield leads the way with an average of 2.87 kills per set while Taylor Heine paces the team with an average of 1.35 blocks per set.

Northern Arizona (9-4, 3-1 BSC) currently sits in third place in the league standings, owning victories over Idaho State, Weber State and Southern Utah. Jana Vander Ploeg leads the team and ranks fifth in the Big Sky with an average of 3.21 kills per set. Both Jensen Barton and Erin Truett have split time at the setter position thus far, with Barton averaging 10.13 assists per set and 1.91 digs per set.

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