Without a trained setter, woes continue for Eastern Washington
If there’s one position it’s tough to be without, it is a setter. A run of bad luck to start the 2012 season has left the Eastern Washington University volleyball team without a trained quarterback to run its offense. After enduring two 3-1 losses on Friday (Aug. 24) at the UniWyo Wyoming Invitational in Laramie, Wyo., Eastern dropped two more to Presbyterian and host-Wyoming on Saturday (Aug. 25), both by a score of 3-0.
In its very first match of tourney, and of the season, junior setter Lindsay Niemeier went down with a knee injury and did not return. She had entered the match as the only healthy setter for EWU, as senior Laney Brown had suffered an injury to her big toe just before the start of preseason.
Eastern persevered at the season-opening tourney Laramie, but kills were hard to come by, and the red and white simply could not find a way to get past the Blue Hose of Presbyterian and Cowgirls of Wyoming.
The Eagles recorded a .073 attack percentage against PU and .011 in their second match against Wyoming. Senior Cora Kellerman led the Eagles on day two with a total of 16 kills. She also contributed nine digs. Freshman libero Ryan Ensrud had 23 digs in the two matches, while senior Shelby Puckett had eight pickups.
Sophomore Kelsey Julian finished the two matches with a combined nine kills and two blocks, while freshman Talia Fermantez recorded six kills and four blocks against a tough Wyoming squad that was coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons.
Junior Ashley Wright, who stepped up to fill the void at setter, posted 20 assists and four kills against Presbyterian, and another 17 assists versus the Cowgirls.
The Eagles will return to the familiar Inland Northwest for their next tournament Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 at Gonzaga. Eastern will take on UC Riverside next Friday, followed by two matches on Saturday against South Dakota State and host-Gonzaga.