Eagles Unable To Overcome Slow Start, Fall To Ohio

Eastern came on in the second and third sets but were unable to sustain leads Saturday, Aug. 31

The Eastern Washington women's volleyball team was unable to shake off a slow start, falling in three sets to Ohio Saturday, Aug. 31, as part of the Oregon Classic in Eugene, Ore.

EWU falls to 0-2 on the young season while the Bobcats improve to 2-0 with the win. Set scores for the match were: 25-12, 25-20, 25,20.

Junior Melissa Waelter and sophomore Allie Schumacher paced the Eagles with four kills apiece. Senior Lindsay Niemeier led the squad with eight assists while Walter recorded a team-best nine digs.

Eastern struggled out of the gate as Ohio raced out to a 7-3 lead early in the first set. The Eagles would crawl back to within two, 9-7, on a kill from Schumacher, but the Bobcats scored seven of the next eight points to force an EWU timeout. Eastern was unable to gain any momentum the rest of the way, however, as Ohio easily claimed the first set.

Schumacher opened the second set with a kill to give EWU its first lead of the day, but the Bobcats responded with a run to take a 5-3 advantage. They extended their lead to five, 12-7, as Eastern called its first timeout of the set. The Eagles would battle back to within two, 19-17, forcing OU to call timeout after a big block from freshman Chloe Watson and sophomore Allison Doerpinghaus. Eastern pulled to within one, 20-19, on a service error from Ohio, but the Bobcats would score three straight points to regain a four-point lead and evade the Eagles' rally to win the second set.

The Eagles came out of the break with a renewed intensity, jumping out to a 4-2 lead early in the third set. Ohio answered with a 4-0 run, forcing Eastern to take an early timeout to regroup. The Bobcats would extend their lead to five, 10-5, causing Benson to call his second timeout of the set. EWU regained some momentum after the timeout, pulling to within one, 14-13, after a kill from Waelter and an attack error from OU. Undeterred, Ohio responded with four straight points to regain a five-point margin.

Freshman Kylie Curtis put away her first career kill to bring the Eagles back to within one, 18-17, before junior Kelsey Julian tied the game at 20-20 after putting away a set from Niemeier. The Bobcats would score the next five points of the match, however, as Eastern was unable to complete its comeback.

EWU recorded 8.5 total blocks, led by junior Talia Fermantez's six block assists.

Ohio was led by Karin Bull's 10 kills while Meredith Ashy recorded a game-high 10 digs.

Eastern concludes its showing at the Oregon Classic this afternoon, taking on Bryant at 4:30 p.m.

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