@EWUVolleyball Hosts Final Home Stand, Says Goodbye To Seniors
|Northern Colorado||North Dakota|
|Friday, Nov. 15 | 6 p.m.||Saturday, Nov. 16 | 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|
The Eastern Washington women's volleyball team will play its final home matches this weekend, hosting Northern Colorado and North Dakota for a pair of Big Sky counters. The Eagles square off with the Bears on Friday, Nov. 15, before taking on UND on Saturday. Both matches begin at 6 p.m.
Saturday's match will mark the final Reese Court appearances of seniors Lindsay Niemeier and Ashley Wright. The two will be honored prior to the start of Saturday's match. Currently at 298 career sets played, Niemeier will play the 79th and 80th matches of her career this weekend while Wright while see her career totals of 376 sets played and 111 matches played increase.
Eastern (9-18, 6-10 Big Sky) split two Big Sky matches at home last week, falling to Northern Arizona before rebounding to defeat Southern Utah. The highlight of the weekend came against the Thunderbirds when the Eagles broke the program record for service aces, finishing the match with 16. Senior Lindsay Niemeier finished with a season-high five aces while sophomore Ryann Ensrud set a new career high with four aces. Juniors Kelsey Julian and Stanka Panic each tallied three aces while freshman Chloe Watson chipped in one. The previous high of 15 was set back on Sept. 3, 2005, against Charleston Southern.
Julian continued her impressive run of play this past weekend, tying her career high with 16 kills against the Lumberjacks before tallying 15 kills versus the Thunderbirds. Fellow junior Talia Fermantez hit .692 against SUU, finishing with 10 kills on just 13 swings, committing only one error. Niemeier was one assist shy of tying her season high against Southern Utah, finishing with 43 assists to go along with nine digs. Ensrud led all players with 21 digs, the fourth time this season she has recorded at least 20 digs.
Sophomore Allison Doerpinghaus went for seven blocks against Southern Utah, giving her 109 total blocks for the season. The last time an Eagle recorded at least 100 blocks in a single year was back in 2010. Her 109 blocks currently rank 24th all-time in single-season history while her blocks per set average of 1.16 ranks sixth in the Big Sky and 92nd nationally.
Northern Colorado (11-15, 7-9 BSC) are one spot out of the Big Sky Tournament picture but are coming off wins over first-place North Dakota and Sacramento State last weekend. The Bears lead the conference in digs per set with an average of 15.23 and rank fourth in opponent hitting percentage at .197, just one place ahead of Eastern. Offensively, UNC is led by Kendra Cunningham (3.02 k/s) and Brianna Strong (2.74 k/s, .305 hitting pct).
The Bears defeated the Eagles in four sets earlier this season. Sophomore Allie Schumacher, Eastern's kills leader, missed that game with a shoulder injury as Eastern was held to a hitting percentage of .077. Watson led EWU with eight kills and nine digs while senior Ashley Wright added seven kills.
North Dakota (19-9, 14-2 BSC) has already clinched a spot in the Big Sky Tournament, having dropped just two league matches all season. UND leads the conference in hitting percentage, swinging at a .252 clip, and are averagina league-best 13.81 kills per set. Ronni Munkeby (3.17 k/s, .324 hitting pct) and Lisa Parlich (3.02 k/s, .378 hitting pct) pace North Dakota's offense. Both are also strong at the net, averaging better than one block per set.