|at Sacramento State||Portland State|
|Saturday, Oct. 26 | 7 p.m.||Monday, Oct. 28 | 6 p.m.|
|The Nest | Sacramento, Calif.||Reese Court | Cheney, Wash.|
|Match Notes | Live Stats | Live Video||Match Notes | Live Stats | Live Video|
|EWU on Facebook | EWU on Twitter||EWU on Facebook | EWU on Twitter|
The Eastern Washington women's volleyball teams kicks off the second half of Big Sky play this weekend with a road match at Sacramento State before welcoming rival Portland State to Reese Court for a Dam Cup match. The Eagles will square off with the Hornets on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. before facing the Vikings on Monday, Oct. 28, at 6 p.m.
EWU (7-14, 4-6 Big Sky) split a pair of Big Sky matches last weekend for the fourth time this season, sweeping Weber State last Thursday, Oct. 17, before falling in four sets to Idaho State on Saturday. Eastern had its best showing of the season against Weber State, hitting .438 and committing just nine errors on 73 attacks. Junior Kelsey Julian led the way with arguably the greatest performance of her career, pacing the Eagles with 12 kills on just 15 swings along with no errors, good for a hitting percentage of .800. Her hitting percentage was the best clip with at least 10 attacks since Sara Todorovich hit 1.000 (10-0-10) back in 2009. Julian added a season-high even sigs and a career-best four service aces versus the Wildcats, leading the Eagles in both categories. Julian added 12 kills, four digs, two blocks and two service aces against Idaho State
Another highlight from last week was sophomore Allie Schumacher's return to the court after missing Eastern's previous four matches with a shoulder injury. She went for 11 kills on 20 attacks against Weber State, adding four digs. Against Idaho State, she notched her fourth double-double of the year, turning in a 14-kill, 12-dig performance. Sophomore Ryann Ensrud, Schumacher's high school teammate at Puyallup High School, had a season-high 23 digs against Weber State, just two shy of her career best. Ensrud has now eclipsed the 20-dig mark three times this season and is averaging 4.36 digs per set in the Eagles' last four matches.
Sacramento State enters Saturday's tilt after splitting matches with the Montana schools last weekend. The Hornets rank second as a team in the conference hitting percentage, swinging at a .240 clip, and in service aces, averaging 1.49 aces per set. Sloan Lovett leads CSUS's attack, averaging 3.41 kills per set on a hitting percentage of .257. She also ranks second in the Big Sky in service aces with an average of 0.37 per set.
The Eagles and the Hornets opened league play against each other earlier this season with EWU clawing back from a 2-0 hole to defeat Sacramento State in five sets. Schumacher led all players with 24 kills, adding 11 digs for the double-double. Senior Lindsay Niemeier set a season high with 44 assists and added eight digs and four blocks. Ensrud went for a then-season-best 22 digs while junior Talia Fermantez notched seven blocks.
Portland State (11-9, 8-2 BSC) currently sit second in the league standings, having won four of its previous five matches. The Vikings lead the Big Sky in both aces per set and digs per set with respective averages of 1.67 and 15.28, while their opponent hitting percentage of .192 ranks second. Aubrey Mitchell (2.80 k/s) and Kaeli Patton (2.78 k/s) lead PSU's offensive attack while Kasimira Clark ranks second in the league with an average of 4.87 digs per set.
Eastern and PSU met back on Sept. 23 of this season with the host Vikings winning in straight sets. Eastern hit just .140 for the match and was victim to 11 service aces from Portland State. Schumacher paced the Eagles with eight kills to go along with 11 digs. Niemeier had 21 assists while sophomore Kellen Barfield finished with three blocks.