The Eastern Washington women's volleyball team concluded its stay in Eugene, Ore., in winning fashion, sweeping Bryant for its first win of 2013 as part of the Oregon Classic Saturday, Aug. 31.
The Eagles improve to 1-2 on the year while Bryant drops to 0-3 with the loss. Set scores for the match were: 25-23, 25-14, 25-20.
Niemeier led the team with 15 assists and added eight digs. Sophomore Ryann Ensrud recorded a game-high 16 digs.
Eastern jumped out for an early 4-1 lead in the first set on an attack error from Bryant. The Bulldogs would respond with a 10-5 run, gaining an 11-9 advantage midway through the set, but the Eagles answered with a run of their own, taking a 16-13 advantage on consecutive kills from Wright. Bryant came back to tie it, first at 20-20 and then at 21-21, but two attack errors from the Bulldogs gave Eastern a lead it would not relinquish.
Ensrud played phenomenal defense in the first set, recording seven of her 15 digs in the opening frame. Niemeier, Schumacher, Waelter and Wright each had two kills apiece.
The Eagles came out hot in the second set, racing out to an 8-2 lead, forcing Bryant to take a timeout. Eastern refused to let the Bulldogs back in it, extending its lead to eight on a kill from Waelter before going up by 11, 22-11, on a service ace from freshman Sophie Miller. The two teams traded points before Bryant committed a service error to seal its defeat.
Niemeier notched seven assists in the second set while Waelter paced the team with three kills on six swings. Junior Stasha Panic recorded seven of her eight digs in the second frame.
The third set saw the Bulldogs assert themselves in the early going, leading throughout the early going before Eastern gained the lead for good on a service error from Bryant that gave EWU a 10-9 advantage. The Eagles won four straight points to take a 14-9 lead, forcing Bryant to call a timeout.
The Bulldogs would pull to within one, 16-15, on an attack error from Wright, but the Eagles regained a four-point advantage on a kill from Schumacher en route to winning the set and the match.
Schumacher put away four kills on six swings in the decisive set, committing no errors. Niemeier tallied four assists and four digs in the third set.
Eastern hit .184 as a team while limiting Bryant to a hitting percentage of .057. Juniors Kelsey Julian and Talia Fermantez led EWU with three blocks apiece. Niemeier, Waelter and freshman Sophie Miller had two service aces, respectively.
The Eagles will return to the state of Washington for its next match, a road contest at Seattle this Monday, Sept. 2. The match is set to begin at 6 p.m.