Hills moves into second place in school history for career kills; senior now has 1,276
The Eastern Washington University volleyball team played in front of an electric crowd, its largest in three years, in a rematch of last year's Big Sky Conference championship match, but was unable to defeat Portland State. The Eagles fell to the Vikings by 23-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-17 scores on Friday evening (Oct. 9).
The crowd of 1,440 was the largest at Reese Court since Sept. 23, 2006, when 1,484 rooted on the Eagles against Northern Colorado that evening.
Hayley Hills moved into second place for most career kills in school history tonight, as her 13 putaways increased her career sum to 1,276. Now in third is Janelle Ruen, who had 1,268 from 1999-2002, while the school mark is securely held by Kim Exner, who contributed 1,860 from 1995-98.
Chenoa Coviare tied for the team lead in kills tonight with 13 herself. She also hit at an impressive .345 clip (13-3-29). Ashley Hamilton contributed 38 assists in the contest.
Defensively, the Eagles as a team had 13.5 blocks for the second-straight match, tied for their second-most in a contest this year (EWU had 14 at Idaho State on Sept. 25). Leading the way individually in that category were Sara Todorovich (7) and Coviare (6).
Three Eagles had double-digit dig totals tonight, as JaNae Mortensen leading the way with 20, the third-highest total by an Eagle so far this year. Hills had 16 to record her eighth double-double of the season. Cora Kellerman contributed 10 digs to Eastern's efforts.
The first set tonight was the tightest of the match, as the Eagles (11-6, 5-1 BSC) impressively rallied from a 19-15 deficit to secure a 25-23 win by riding a 10-4 set-ending run. Set two saw Portland State (11-6, 5-1 BSC) pull away from a narrow 17-16 edge with an 8-2 spurt to win that stanza 25-18.
The third set was also close. In it, Portland State put a little space between the teams after it was 20-20 to go up 24-21 on its way to a 25-22 set win. The Vikings then put the match away with a 9-2 run at the end of the fourth set to extend a 16-15 PSU advantage into a 25-17 Vikings win.
"The problem tonight was that we got beat on things that we have talked about for a long time," head coach Miles Kydd said. "Maybe it's good for us, because we realize what we have to work a little harder and start executing things we have been talking about. Our game plan is fine if we execute it but we did not and paid the price for it."
The Eagles saw some spectacular winning streaks come to an end today, including a 13-match home winning streak dating to the beginning of the 2008 campaign, an overall seven-match streak as well as 14-straight home wins over Portland State dating to a 3-0 Vikings victory at Reese on Oct. 19, 1985.
Eastern Washington next embarks on a pivotal road trip, playing Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado on Thursday (Oct. 15) and Oct. 17, respectively. Both matches will start at 6 p.m. Pacific Time. The Lumberjacks are 4-10, 1-4 in Big Sky play, while UNC leads the league at 5-0 and is 11-7 overall.