Eastern Holds Tough in First Game, Falls to 16th-Ranked Hawai'i
Sept. 7, 2007
After earning two game points in the first game, the Eastern Washington volleyball team was outlasted by No. 16 Hawai'i, 31-29, 30-15, 30-20, on Thursday evening (Sept. 6) in front of 5,630 fans. Eastern took a 29-27 lead in the first game before the Rainbow Wahine took control of the match.
The Eagles (1-6) trailed early in the first game, 7-3, and did not get closer than three until six straight points erased a six-point UH advantage and tied the score, 18-18. Hayley Hills had a kill on the tying point. Eastern's first lead of the game came on a block by Chenoa Coviare and Alysha Cook, 23-22.
Two more points earned EWU a 25-22 lead and another Hills kill gave the Eagles a 29-27 edge. At that point, Hawai'i (4-3) stormed back with four straight points to take the game. The Eagles held the Rainbow Wahine to a .106 hitting percentage in the initial stanza.
"We started tentatively and were down, 7-3, then refocused and came back and started executing," interim head coach Irene Matlock said. "(Assistant coach) Miles (Kydd) gave a great scouting report, and we took advantages of the situations we were in and took the lead, but couldn't quite push it over."
Hawai'i put the second game out of reach early, taking 11-4 and 21-8 advantages on its way to the 30-15 win. Eastern Washington did stay close early in the third game, trailing by just one at 11-10, before a 16-5 run earned the Rainbow Wahine a commanding 27-15 edge.
A pair of Eagles hit .333 in the contest, Chenoa Coviare (4-1-9) and Jacque Brown (3-1-6). It's the third time that Coviare has elapsed the .300 mark, the second for Brown. Alysha Cook played well for the Eagles, leading the team in kills with nine. The freshman has now recorded at least nine kills on two occasions (she had 10 in a 3-2 win over Colgate on Aug. 31).
"We came here to play incredibly tough teams and to learn how to compete at this level," Matlock said. "Our focus is to increase our knowledge, as we keep playing these good teams this week."
The Eagles continue play at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Volleyball Classic on Friday (Sept. 7) with a match against No. 19 Santa Clara (5-2). The Broncos fell to Wichita State, Eastern's opponent on Saturday, in the initial match of the tournament, 30-26, 30-23, 30-19. First serve will be at 8 p.m. PT and live stats will be available at www.hawaiiathletics.com.