November 24, 2013

Balanced Attack Paces Eagles To Victory Over Weber State In Season Finale

Ogden, Utah – Three players notched double-digit kills as the Eastern Washington women's volleyball team concluded its 2013 campaign with a four-set win over host Weber State Saturday, Nov. 23, in a Big Sky match at Swenson Gym.

Eastern finishes its season with a 10-21 record (7-13 Big Sky) while Weber State drops to 7-27 (3-17 BSC) with the loss. Set scores for the match were: 27-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-15.

Sophomore Allie Schumacher led the way with 12 kills, adding 10 digs for her seventh double-double of the year. Senior Ashley Wright and junior Kelsey Julian went for 10 kills apiece with Wright hitting a stellar .625, committing no errors on 16 swings.

Senior Lindsay Niemeier tallied 38 assists to go along with four digs and four kills. She eclipsed the 2,000 career assists mark, becoming just the 12th player in EWU history to reach that plateau.

Sophomore Ryann Ensrud led the Eagles with 12 digs while classmate Allison Doerpinghaus paced the team with five blocks, adding eight kills and two service aces.

The first set was close throughout as neither team was able to sustain any momentum in the early going. With the score tied at 10-10, the hosts reeled off four straight points to take a 14-10 lead only to see the Eagles rally to tie the score at 15-15, punctuated by a kill from junior Talia Fermantez. Eastern took its first lead of the set, 19-18, on an attack error from Rebecca Fuchs, but the Wildcats answered with another run, going up 22-19 late in the frame. EWU once again responded, evening things at 22-22 on a block from Schumacher and Doerpinghaus. Up 24-22, Weber State committed two costly errors to keep the Eagles alive before a kill from Wright put Eastern up 26-25. WSU committed another attack error on the next sequence, giving the Eagles the opening frame.

The second set was much the same as the first with the two squads battling to a 10-10 tie. A block error from the Wildcats put Eastern up one, 13-12, but the hosts countered with three straight points to regain the lead, 15-13. Weber State maintained its advantage over the next few plays, using an attack error from Julian to go up 22-18 late in the set. The Eagles refused to quit, using two kills from Julian to pull to within three, 23-20, before coming all the way back to win the set, thanks to a pair of aces from Doerpinghaus.

Facing a 2-0 hole at the break, the Wildcats took a quick lead in the third frame, going up 10-8 before extending their advantage to four, 14-10. Eastern would pull to within two, 19-17, only to see Weber State answer with another run to open up a five-point advantage, 23-17. A block from Doerpinghaus and a kill from Julian staved off two set points, but the Wildcats finally put the game away with a kill from Audrey Biggs.

Knowing it let an opportunity slip through its fingers, Eastern went on the attack early, opening up an 8-5 advantage in the fourth set. The hosts got to within one, 10-9, but back-to-back errors from WSU put the Eagles back up three, 12-9. Weber State would get no closer than two the rest of the way as the Eagles led by as many as nine before Niemeier's kill gave EWU a 10-point advantage and the match.

Eastern hit .218 for the match compared to WSU's clip of .177. Each team finished with eight blocks, but the Wildcats had nine service aces to the Eagles' four.

Biggs led Weber State with 12 kills while McKay Tarbox recorded a match-high 17 digs.

The Eagles will take the rest of 2013 off before resuming training in January. EWU loses just two seniors, Niemeier and Wright, returning the bulk of its rotation for next season.

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