September 4, 2009

Eagles Hold Off Cougars 3-1

Eastern Washington improves to 2-2 against challenging schedule, plays Nevada at 4:30

Box Score

The Eastern Washington University volleyball team won the first sets impressively before holding off a Houston comeback to prevail over the Cougars 25-19, 25-17, 20-25, 26-24 on Friday afternoon (Sept. 4) at the Marriott University Park Wildcat Classic in Tucson, Ariz.

The Eagles (2-2) had a nice 5-0 run in the first set to turn a 10-9 deficit into a 14-10 advantage. The Cougars would not get any closer than three points the rest of the stanza.

In the second set, Houston had early control and held a 14-11 lead, but the Eagles responded by going on a 12-2 run to go up 23-16 on its way to a 25-17 victory.

In the third set, however, the Cougars (1-4) were able to pull away and control the set comfortably from start to finish, riding a 19-10 advantage to a 25-18 win.

The fourth set was the tightest of the afternoon, as only once did either team go up by more than two points (8-5 Eastern). In fact, the teams were tied 18 times, including at every point from 15-15 through 24-24.

"We played flat, then nervous, today," head coach Miles Kydd. "We were fortunate to win in four instead of having to play a fifth set."

Allison Reinstein had Eastern's best hitting performance of the match, as she hit .444 (10-2-18). She also had seven blocks in the contest, an Eagle season high in this young season and a total that was only surpassed two times during the entire 2008 campaign.

"We started utilizing the middle quite a bit today," Kydd said. "We talked before the match that we felt we could score against their middles and we did. They then started to respect that, which opened up our outside hitters towards the end of the match."

Reinstein and Hayley Hills contributed 10 kills apiece to EWU's victory. JaNae Mortensen set the team pace in digs with 10, while Ashley Hamilton had 33 assists. Jacque Brown had a match-high three service aces to go with eight kills and nine digs.

The Eagles will have a short turnaround before playing Nevada at 4:30 p.m. The Wolf Pack fell to 1-3 this morning after falling to the host Arizona Wildcats (4-0) by 25-14, 25-12, 25-13 scores.

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