Eagles Pull Away from UNC, into 1st-Place Tie
Hamilton has triple-double, contributes 43 assists, 14 digs and 11 kills
The Eastern Washington University volleyball team played three tough sets with host Northern Colorado on Saturday evening (Oct. 17) before quickly putting away any doubt with an impressive fourth-set victory in a 23-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-18 victory.
The win created a three-way tie for first place with these two teams plus Portland State, as all three teams reach the midway point in the Big Sky Conference season with 6-2 marks. The Vikings knocked off Northern Arizona 25-22, 25-14, 25-20 tonight to create the three-way stalemate.
Ashley Hamilton had a triple-double tonight, a relatively rare occurrence in volleyball, as only 22 had been achieved in NCAA Division I volleyball this year through Monday (Oct. 12) - and only 12 of those came in matches less than five sets long. Tonight, Hamilton had 43 assists to go with 11 kills and 14 digs. She also hit at an outstanding .526 clip (11-1-19).
In fact, three other Eagles had double-digit kills tonight, while another three had 10+ digs. Leading the team in kills were Chenoa Coviare (15) and Sara Todorovich (15). The two also hit at impressive rates, .387 (15-3-31) and .323 (15-5-31), respectively. Hayley Hills was just behind with 14 putaways herself.
Defensively, JaNae Mortensen set the team pace in digs with 17, while Amanda Yausie had 15 and Jacque Brown contributed 12. Todorovich also had six blocks to set the match pace in that category.
In the first set, Northern Colorado pulled away from a 19-all tie to go up 22-19 and not relinquish its lead the rest of the way in a 25-23 win. Eastern Washington then took its turn, turning a 17-17 score into a 22-17 advantage on its way to a 25-22 victory in the second stanza.
The third set went right down to the wire, as the teams were tied at 23 and 24 until the Eagles scored the final two points to claim a 26-24 win. Set four was the only one that did not go right down to the wire, as EWU's 22-13 advantage was too much for Northern Colorado to overcome in a 25-18 set.
The Eagles now return home for a pair of matches, as Eastern Washington will face Weber State (5-15, 3-5 BSC) and Idaho State (9-10, 3-5 BSC) at 7 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 23) and Saturday (Oct. 24), respectively.