Eagles Drop 3-0 Decision to Idaho

Sophomore setter Lindsay Niemeier records sixth-straight double-double, including career-high 20 digs, but Eastern's offense struggles in loss to non-conference foe

The Eastern Washington University volleyball team dropped its third-straight match at Reese Court on Wednesday (Oct. 5), as the Eagles fell in three sets (25-23, 25-21, 25-19) to Idaho in a non-conference duel in Cheney, Wash.

Eastern (8-9, 2-2 Big Sky) put up a respectable fight in the first two sets, which featured a combined 13 ties and four lead changes. But after the break, Idaho ran away with match.

The Vandals jumped out to quick 8-0 lead in the final frame, and then extended the margin to 16-6 before Eastern found a way to stop the bleeding. The Eagles scored 10 of the next 15 points to pull within four at 21-17, but then the home team committed four unforced errors to hand Idaho the 3-0 victory.

"We walked back out on the court for the third set feeling pretty good," said EWU head coach Miles Kydd. "Idaho had a run at the end of the second set that hurt us, but I thought we were playing pretty well.  But now, for the second match in a row, we've come back from the 10-minute break with nothing. We need to figure it out. We can't continue to talk about the same things after matches."

In its last outing at Reese Court, the Eagles gave up a two-set lead following intermission, falling to Northern Arizona in five gut-wrenching sets.

Eastern struggled to record many kills in Wednesday's match, finishing with a .171 attack percentage and only 37 kills on 146 attempts. Conversely, the Vandals had 52 kills on a .204 clip. Idaho also picked up 84 digs in the three-set match, and had five blocks.

Eastern's sophomore setter Lindsay Niemeier registered a career-high 20 digs to lead Eastern's defensive efforts. She also had 20 assists for her 11th double-double of the season, and sixth in a row. Niemeier leads the Big Sky Conference in double-doubles.

Senior libero Lindsey Petroni had 18 digs and six assists, while junior captain Cora Kellerman was the third Eagle to pick-up double-digit digs with 16.

Eastern will continue Big Sky play on Saturday (Oct. 8) when it travels to Sacramento State to take on the Hornets, who are riding a four-match winning streak.

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