November 14, 2006

Decision to Come to EWU a Shoo-In for Eagle Senior

Story and Photo by Brandon Hansen

 

Senior Brittney Page choosing Eastern Washington University was a family affair.

 

"It was a shoo-in," said the outside hitter of her decision to come play for the Eagles. "It's such a comfortable place to be, in Cheney."

 

Her sister, Lindsay, played for the Eagles between 2001-03, including the 2003 season when both played for the Eagles at the same time. With a Page sister on the roster, the Eagles are 133-43 since 2001.

 

"Since my sister was here and Eastern has an outstanding program, it really made it an easy choice on where to go," said Page, who comes from Vernon, British Columbia.

 

And what a decision it was, as Page has tallied 651 kills and 386 digs in her career as an Eagle. Her career will end soon, but hopefully that will occur at the NCAA Tournament.

 

Lindsay played for the last Eastern team to advance to the NCAA Tournament, with that appearance coming in 2001. The Eagles defeated Oregon State to advance to the second round, matching the highest advancement in league history.

 

"Brittney has come on super strong in her five years here. She has always been a player that cares about the program first and we are going to miss her a lot," said Eagles head coach Wade Benson.

 

In her five years at EWU, Brittney has been able to depend on her sister for advice. "She knows Wade so well, she can give me feedback," said Page. "She knows exactly where I'm coming from."

 

As a senior this year, she has taken a leadership position with the Eagles. Twice this season she has earned Big Sky Player of the Week honors.

 

"I've been here a long time," said Page. "I'm definitely going to miss the girls when this year is over."

 

And maybe this year has been something special, since the Eagles had to battle through a six-match losing streak. With a 3-0 sweep of Montana last Saturday, EWU finished the regular season 18-8 overall and 10-6 in the Big Sky Conference, despite starting the league season 0-5.

 

The team's fast finish garnered the Eagles third place heading into this week's Big Sky Conference Championships in Sacramento, Calif.

 

"We've always had the best athletes," said Page. "We just had to get used to playing with one another and now we're peaking at the right time."

 

With the Montana victory, Page and the Eagles seem ready for the Big Sky Tournament. They've won 11 of their past 12 and are currently riding a four-match win streak. The lone loss in that 12-match span was a five-game loss to rival Sacramento State on Oct. 28. Eastern has played Sacramento State in the Big Sky championship match six-straight years.

 

However it may not be the wins she remembers most when she looks back on her career at Eastern Washington. It's the Halloween practices.

 

"It's definitely my favorite practice. Everyone dresses up, even the coaches," she said. "You would think, `what the heck are all these people doing in costumes and practicing.'"

 

With the Big Sky Conference Tournament looming and with the Eagles on a roll, spectators won't be wondering what the Eagles are doing out on the court. They'll know.

 

They're trying to win a championship. And once again, a Page sister is leading them toward that goal.

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