|Northern Arizona||Southern Utah|
|Thursday, Nov. 7 | 6 p.m.||Friday, Nov. 8 | 6 p.m.|
|Reese Court | Cheney, Wash.||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|
After playing seven of its last 10 matches on the road, the Eastern Washington women's volleyball team returns to the friendly confines to Reese Court this week for the start of a four-match home stand. The Eagles open with Northern Arizona on Thursday, Nov. 7, before taking on Southern Utah on Friday. Both matches begin at 6 p.m.
Eastern (8-17, 5-9 Big Sky) is coming off a split at the Montana schools last week, falling to Montana in four sets on Thursday, Oct. 31, before ending a four-match skid with a win over Montana State on Saturday. EWU put together solid performances in both matches and were unlucky not to come out with a win against the Griz, recording a higher hitting percentage, committing fewer errors and finishing with more service aces than Montana. Against Montana State on Saturday, the Eagles hit .250 against the Bobcats while recording 12 blocks.
Junior Kelsey Julian and senior Lindsay Niemeier both finished with double-doubles against Montana. Niemeier tallied 36 assists and 12 digs for her team-leading fifth double-double of the year while Julian finished with a match-high 16 kills and 10 digs for the first double-double of her career. Both of Julian's kill and dig numbers were career highs, and her 45 attempts was also a career-best. Sophomores Ryann Ensrud and Allison Doerpinghaus also recorded new career marks against the Griz, finishing with a career-high three service aces and six digs, respectively.
Julian again led the way against Montana State, finishing with 12 kills on 23 swings. Junior Talia Fermantez played arguably her best match of the season versus the Bobcats, recording 11 kills and five blocks. She hit .667 against MSU, recording just one error on 15 attacks. Doerpinghaus and fellow sophomore Allie Schumacher also finished with five blocks apiece while contributing six and seven kills, respectively.
Northern Arizona (16-7, 10-4 BSC) saw its four-match winning streak snapped at Southern Utah on Monday, Nov. 4, falling in five sets to the last-place Thunderbirds. NAU currently sits in third in the league standings, having dropped just four conference matches in 14 outings. One of the best defensive teams in the Big Sky, the Lumberjacks lead the league in opponent hitting percentage at .172 and are second in blocks per set with an average of 2.61. Equally deadly on offensive, NAU ranks second in hitting percentage, swinging at a .236 clip. Leading Northern Arizona's attack is Janae Vander Ploeg with an average of 3.38 kills per set.
The Lumberjacks swept Eastern in this season's first meeting back on Oct. 5 in Flagstaff, Ariz. NAU hit .284 for the match compared to the Eagles' hitting percentange of -.010. Fermantez led EWU in kills with six while Julian and freshman Chloe Watson each added five. Ensrud notched eight digs while Doerpinghaus registered two blocks. Eastern was without its kills leader in Schumacher for that match.
Southern Utah (3-22, 2-12 BSC) ended a 14-match losing streak with a win over Northern Arizona on Monday, Nov. 4. The Thunderbirds' losing skid saw them win just six sets in those 14 matches, getting swept nine times. SUU ranks third in the Big Sky in digs per set and fourth in blocks per set with respective averages of 14.31 and 2.53. Taylor Heine and Ann Clapier both rank in the top 10 in the conference in blocks per set, averaging 1.21 and 1.09 blocks per set, respectively.
Eastern and Southern Utah met back on Oct. 3 of this season in Cedar City, Utah, as the Eagles won in four sets. SUU took the first set, 26-24, before EWU turned it on, cruising in the next three frames to claim the win. Julian led Eastern with 13 kills on 29 attacks, hitting at a .345 clip. Niemeier narrowly missed out on a double-double as she finished with 35 assists and eight digs. Ensrud led all players with 22 digs.