Eagles dominate blocking, but can't come up with enough offense to take down Titans
In every match thus far in the 2011 season, the Eastern Washington University volleyball team has significantly out-blocked its opponent. The story was no different on Friday (Sept. 2) afternoon when Eastern played Cal State Fullerton in its first of three matches at the Wildcat Classic in Tucson, Ariz. But despite a 10.5-4 edge in total team blocks, the Eagles could not get past CSF, as the Titans won, 3-0 (25-20-25-16-25-20).
Neither team hit particularly well in the match, as Cal State Fullerton finished with a .181 attack percentage and Eastern at .121. The difference though, came in total number of kills, as the Titans had 43 in the match, compared to just 30 for EWU. Cal State Fullerton also registered five service aces, and had a 50-45 edge in digs.
In the first set, there were seven ties and five lead changes before CSF scored 10 unanswered points to open up a 21-12 lead. The Eagles clawed their way back and managed to fight off five set points, but the Titans eventually won it 25-20.
The second set had a similar feel, as the Eagles dug a big hole early, and then struggled to regain control the rest of the way. The Eagles did record 12 kills on a .235 clip in the second frame, but Cal State Fullerton's offense was even sharper, as it recorded 15 kills with only two errors on 25 attempts.
The third set was a much closer battle, as evidenced by six ties and four lead changes. Midway through the set, Eastern took a slight 14-13 lead after a kill by senior Chenoa Rossi-Childress, followed by an ace from junior Cora Kellerman. But CSF answered, and a kill by Kayla Neto on the very next play sparked a 7-3 run that put the Titans in command, 21-17. Kellerman had two more kills before the end of the set, but Cal State Fullerton eventually closed it out with a 25-20 decision.
Kellerman finished with a team-high nine kills. Junior Shelby Puckett added eight kills, eight digs and four blocks for the red and white.
Rossi-Childress had six kills and five blocks, while freshman Talia Fermantez came off the bench to contribute two kills and four blocks. Sophomore setter Lindsay Niemeier registered her third double-double of the season with 13 assists and 10 digs.
Eastern will have another match on Friday (Sept. 2) against the Presbyterian Blue Hose. First serve is schedule for 4:30 p.m. PST and can be viewed FREE via a live stream at http://www.arizonawildcats.com/allaccess/?media=261667