September 26, 2009

Eagles Ride Hot Hitting to Sweep

After 2-0 road trip, Eastern Washington now returns home for four straight matches

Box Score

The Eastern Washington University volleyball team hit .390 in a 25-16, 25-21, 26-24 road sweep of Weber State on Saturday evening (Sept. 26), improving to 4-0 in Big Sky Conference play with the win. The Eagles completed a 2-0 road trip tonight after rallying from 2-0 down to defeat Idaho State 3-2 the night before.

The hitting percentage attained by the Eagles tonight was by far their highest in the season up to this point, as the previous season high was .245 in a 3-1 win over San Jose State on Sept. 30. The last time EWU hit that well came in a 3-0 win over Northern Colorado on Nov. 8, 2008. The Eagles hit .416 that night.

Eastern was able to attack through the middle with relative ease. Sara Todorovich hit at a .583 clip tonight (8-1-12), while Chenoa Coviare recorded a .526 hitting percentage (12-2-19).

"Our middles have matched up well with the team we have played against, which also makes life easier for our outside hitters," head coach Miles Kydd said.

Also, Ashley Hamilton combined 43 assists (an impressive total in a three-set match) with a .750 hitting percentage (6-0-8). Jacque Brown also played impressively, hitting .400 tonight (5-1-10).

Hayley Hills contributed 14 kills to move her career total to 1,219, which places her in third place in the career kills chart in Eastern Washington history (Kellie Glaus had 1,217 from 1992-95). Next on the list, in second place, is Janelle Ruen. She tallied 1,268 putaways from 1999-2002.

Defensively, Coviare and Alysha Cook contributed four blocks apiece in tonight's win, while Brown set the team pace in digs with nine.

Eastern Washington controlled the first set throughout, going up 18-8 before prevailing 25-16. The second set saw Weber State play closer to the Eagles, never trailing by more than five, but EWU was able to keep the Wildcats at bay in a 25-21 win.

The third set was tight throughout, as Weber State twice went up by three, 3-0 and 13-10, and even took a late 22-21 advantage. However, the Eagles quickly scored twice to go up 23-22, and the teams traded points until Eastern scored two straight to claim a 26-24 win. The teams were tied 14 different times, including at every point from 19-19 to 24-24.

The Eagles improved to 8-5 with the win and are one of just two league teams with undefeated Big Sky marks (Northern Colorado is 3-0). Meanwhile, Weber State dropped to 2-12, 1-3 in Big Sky play. However, the Wildcats have shown they can be dangerous, which was proven last night when WSU defeated defending Big Sky Tournament champion Portland State 3-2.

"Weber State is an athletic team that throws a lot of different looks at you, so if they get into system they can be a tough team to play against," Kydd said. "They are not a team to be taken lightly, that's for sure."

The Eagles now head home to play host to four consecutive contests, starting with a Wednesday evening (Sept. 30) non-conference match with Idaho. The Vandals are 5-7 and play at No. 4 Hawai'i tonight before taking on the Eagles.

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