Hamilton keeps playing at top level, helps lead Eastern Washington to .299 hitting percentage
The Eastern Washington University volleyball team had another dominating performance on Saturday evening (Oct. 24), defeating visiting Idaho State 25-17, 25-22, 25-18 to move to 8-2 in Big Sky Conference play, 14-7 overall.
The win kept the Eagles tied for first place in the Big Sky standings with Portland State. Northern Colorado is just behind those two in the race for the regular-season title with a 7-2 league mark.
Ashley Hamilton had another top-notch performance tonight, helping the Eagles hit at a .299 clip as a team (44-12-107). Individually, she had a .444 hitting percentage (4-0-9) and contributed 34 assists.
After tying the NCAA Division I record last night with a 1.000 hitting percentage on 12 attacks (12-0-12), she extended an incredible run of consecutive kills to 15 before her second attempt tonight was dug by Idaho State. The senior did finish the evening with 30 straight attacks without an error.
The Eagles also had four other players hit at a high percentage tonight. Cora Kellerman hit .545 (6-0-11), Chenoa Coviare hit .423 (13-2-26), Sara Todorovich hit .400 (2-0-5), and Hayley Hills hit .394 (16-3-33). Hills hit .542 (14-1-24) through the first two sets before quieting down in the third stanza.
"I think they were looking for our middles to get sets and that gave Hayley a lot of opportunities against one block," head coach Miles Kydd said.
Hills also set the match pace in kills with 16 tonight, while Coviare had 13. Defensively, JaNae Mortensen had 14 digs to lead all players, while Hills contributed 13 digs to Eastern's winning efforts. Todorovich set the match pace in blocks with six, while Coviare had four.
In the first set tonight, EWU pulled away from a 15-14 edge to secure a 25-17 win with a 10-3 run. The second set was close throughout, but a pivotal 3-0 run extended a 19-18 advantage to 22-18 on the way to EWU's 25-22 victory. The third stanza was more of the same, as Eastern went on an 8-2 run to extend a 17-16 edge to a 25-18 winning margin.
Eastern Washington has now won 16-of-17 at home dating back to the beginning of the 2008 season. Eastern is 7-1 in home matches so far this season.
"For us, it is a big deal to defend our home court," Kydd said. "That is important to us."
The Eagles now head east, will take on Montana State on Friday (Oct. 30) and Montana on Saturday (Oct. 31), respectively. Both matches will start at 6 p.m. Pacific Time. The Bobcats ended a 44-match Big Sky losing streak in a 3-2 road win over Montana on Friday (Oct. 23) to improve to 3-15, 1-8 in league play. Montana is now 9-11, 5-4 in Big Sky matches.