Sept. 27, 2007
With its second straight five-game victory, the Eastern Washington University volleyball team improved its Big Sky Conference record to 4-1. The Eagles outlasted Northern Colorado, 23-30, 30-23, 30-21, 27-30, 15-10, in front of a loud crowd on Thursday evening (Sept. 27), the day after students returned to classes at Eastern.
The last time EWU had won two straight five-game matches was on Sept. 8, 2001, when Eastern outlasted New Mexico State and Cal State Northridge at the University of Oregon Tournament.
Alysha Cook led the Eagles (5-9) in kills for the third time this year. Her total of 19 is also a career high for the freshman, outpacing the sum of 13 she had at Montana State last Thursday (Sept. 20).
Hayley Hills had a double-double with 18 kills and 11 digs.
"That's awesome," interim head coach Irene Matlock said. "And it wasn't Hayley's best night, so think of what she has in the future. She is a very talented young lady."
Leading the way in blocks was Allison Reinstein, who not only had the most recorded by an Eagle so far this year, 11, but the sum is the fourth-most tallied by a Big Sky Conference player so far in 2007. Her block total was the highest attained by an Eagle since Keva Sonderen had 12 against Weber State on Nov. 9, 2002. She helped the Eagles to a season-high total of 16 stuffs.
"That was huge for us, especially for one person to have that many blocks" Matlock said. "She had her hitter pegged, and that just helped us out a lot."
"We had a big change and put Ashley in and didn't falter," Matlock said. "The team went with her, which is something we haven't done in the past. It's a good sign that we are all working together as a group."
The Eagles had control of the first game, going up 7-2 before Northern Colorado (4-11, 2-2, BSC) stormed back with a 13-5 run to take a 15-12 advantage. The Bears cruised from there to the game victory.
The second game was close throughout the majority of the contest until the Eagles pulled away from a 17-all tie with a 7-2 run for a 24-19 lead and won, 30-23.
In game three, Eastern pulled away from a 7-7 tie with a 13-4 run for a 20-11 advantage on its way to the 30-21 win.
Northern Colorado took control of the fourth game by going up 15-5. Although Eastern Washington cut into the lead and got to as close as 22-20 and 28-26, the Bears forced a deciding game with a 30-27 win.
The fifth game was all Eastern, as the Eagles grabbed an early 7-2 lead and pulled away from a narrow 10-8 advantage with a 4-1 run on its way to the match win.
"It's been a goal of this team to keep learning every time we get into practice and every time we play," Matlock said. "And we are accomplishing that. Tonight wasn't our best show; we like to call it winning ugly. We are a young team and we make those young mistakes, but we are cutting them down which is good to see."
The Eagles continue its home stand with a 1 p.m. contest on Saturday (Sept. 29) against Northern Arizona. The Lumberjacks are 6-8, 1-3 in Big Sky play.