Eagle Volleyball Moves Closer to First, Defeats NAU

Nov. 6, 2008

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The Eastern Washington University volleyball team defeated Northern Arizona 25-19, 21-25, 25-18, 25-17 in a Big Sky Conference match on Thursday evening (Nov. 6) in a match which saw its start delayed 30 minutes due to a power outage throughout Cheney, Wash.

The victory kept Eastern in third place in the league standings with a 9-4 record, 14-10 overall, while a Portland State’s 3-0 victory over Northern Colorado tonight propelled the Vikings into first at 10-3 in league contests. UNC is now 9-3 in Big Sky play and in second.

The Eagles play host to Northern Colorado at 7 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 8) in the team’s final home contest of the season. Seniors Chelsea Ross and Mandy Daniels will be honored prior to the match as part Senior Night activities.

In set one of tonight’s contest, the Eagles took an 18-13 lead and withstood an NAU rally that brought the Lumberjacks (13-8, 5-7 BSC) to within three at 21-18 before prevailing by a 25-19 score.

The second set saw Northern Arizona take a late 21-17 advantage but a clutch 4-0 Eastern run tied the set at 21-21. Chenoa Coviare and Ashley Hamilton teamed up for blocks on the last two points of that run. However, the Lumberjacks responded with their own 4-0 spurt to close to out the stanza, 25-21.

After the break between sets two and three, the Eagles turned a 2-0 deficit into an early 6-3 advantage and held an advantage throughout the rest of the set, taking as high as five-point leads at 12-7, 13-8, 14-9 and 15-10. The Lumberjacks did close EWU’s edge to 20-17 late but a 5-1 Eagle run closed out the stanza, 25-18.

Eastern Washington then took immediate control of set four, jumping out to a 10-4 lead and finishing off the match on a 6-2 run to prevail 25-17.

Four different Eagles had double-digit kill totals tonight: Jacque Brown (12 – her second-highest total of the year after the 16 she had in Flagstaff against NAU on Oct. 4), Hayley Hills (12), Coviare (11) and Alysha Cook (10).

Ashley Hamilton hit at a sizzling .857 clip (6-0-7) and contributed 29 assists and four blocks to Eastern’s win. The block total was her second-highest of the season after the five she had against Washington State on Sept. 6.

In addition to Hamilton’s high block total, four others also had at least four: Allison Reinstein (6 – her second-highest total of the season after the eight she had against Washington State), Coviare (5), Cook (4) and Hills (4). Leading the Eagles in digs tonight was Daniels with 24, while Hills had an impressive sum of 15.

“Jacque Brown obviously played really well for us,” head coach Miles Kydd said. “She's the player that played great against them at their place with 16 kills and 21 digs. So I was kind of banking on the fact that she would have good memories, and she came out and played really well.

“Hayley (Hills) and Alysha (Cook) struggled, but the other players were able to pick up the slack. Ashley (Hamilton) was 6-for-7 on dumping the ball. So we were able to get our kills from somewhere else rather than just from Hayley tonight. I think that it shows that maybe we are becoming more of a team rather than just a one-man show.”

The Eagles now look ahead to their final home match of 2008 against second-place Northern Colorado at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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