Nov. 28, 2008
The Eastern Washington University volleyball team advanced to the Big Sky Conference's championship match with a convincing 25-18, 25-18, 25-23 victory over Weber State in a semifinal contest on Friday evening (Nov. 28) in Portland, Ore.
The top-seeded Eagles (18-10) will face host and second-seeded Portland State (19-8) in the title match. The Vikings defeated No. 3 Northern Colorado 25-21, 25-19, 26-24 in the other semifinal. The championship contest begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 29) and may be viewed, free of charge, at www.bigskytv.org.
The win moved Eastern into the league's title contest for the eighth time in nine years.
Eastern Washington was in control of both sets one and two. In the initial stanza, the Eagles jumped out to 7-1 and 11-2 leads and then cruised to a set victory. The closest fifth-seeded Weber State (21-13) got was four at 17-13 and 20-16.
The Eagles then grabbed a 10-4 lead in set two, and Weber State would not get closer than four the rest of that set, which came at 11-7. Eastern Washington was up by as much as 10 on five different occasions.
Set three ended up much closer, and Weber State controlled much of that set, even taking as much as a 17-10 lead mid-way through the stanza. The Eagles then chipped away at their deficit and tied the set at 21-all before taking their first lead since 3-2 to earn match point at 24-23. Another tally finished off a clutch 3-0 run and earned Eastern the berth in the title match.
Hayley Hills had 18 kills in the contest to lead all players, while Mandy Daniels set the pace in digs with 16. Ashley Hamilton had 31 assists and four blocks, while Chenoa Coviare contributed four blocks, as well.
Several Eagles also hit at a high clip, including Hamilton (.571, 5-1-7), Allison Reinstein (.500, 5-1-8), Chelsea Ross (.467, 8-1-15) and Coviare (.400, 4-0-10).
The Eagles, winners of their 12th contest in 13 tries, out-hit Weber State in tonight's match, .245-.060 and out-dug the Wildcats, 36-24.