Eagles Stumble in Loss to Pepperdine

Waves shut down Eagle offense, take match in three quick sets

A solid defensive effort by the Pepperdine Waves prevented the Eastern Washington University volleyball team from finding its offensive rhythm, as the home team downed EWU 3-0 (25-9, 25-13, 25-17) on Saturday (Sept. 4) in Malibu, Calif. The Eagles fall to 1-4 on the season, while Pepperdine improves its overall mark to 3-2.

Eastern took only one less swing on offense than Pepperdine, but the Waves were unrelenting on defensive end, recording seven team blocks and 39 digs. The Eagles had 15 kills in the match, but committed 24 errors in their 86 attempts, resulting in a -.105 attack percentage. Sophomore Shelby Puckett tallied five kills and six digs, while senior Allison Reinstein had a team-leading three blocks.

The first set was a brief encounter, as the Waves took advantage of 12 unforced errors by the visiting team in Red and White. Pepperdine jumped out to a quick 12-3 lead and never looked back, taking the set 25-9. The second set was not much easier for the Eags, as the squad could muster only three kills on 27 attempts. Pepperdine was able to block the EWU attack on four of those occasions, while also picking up 17 digs.

Eastern worked out a few kinks during intermission, and was able to put up more a fight in the third set. After falling behind 12-6, the Eagles rattled off five consecutive points to pull within one at 12-11. During the run, redshirt-freshman Ashley Wright recorded a kill and a block, and Puckett tallied two powerful kills of her own. Unfortunately, Pepperdine was quick in spoiling the EWU momentum, as it scored eight of the next 12 points to earn a five-point advantage at 20-15. The Waves’ middle blocker Kim Hill then recorded three-consecutive kills to power her team past the Eagles with a 25-17 decision.

Eastern’s final tune up at the Pepperdine Asics Classic will commence tonight (Sept. 4) when they take on the 2009 Conference-USA tournament champion Rice at 5 p.m. Live stats for the match are available via the volleyball schedule page on www.goeags.com.

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