October 12, 2013

Road-Weary Eagles Drop Big Sky Tilt At Northern Colorado

Greeley, Colo. – Playing its fourth consecutive road match, the Eastern Washington women's volleyball team fell in four sets to Northern Colorado Saturday, Oct. 12, in a Big Sky counter at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion.

The Eagles drop to 6-13 (3-5 BSC) while the Bears improve to 6-12 (2-6 BSC) with the win. Set scores for the match were: 16-25, 11-25, 26-24, 20-25.

Freshman Chloe Watson led the team with eight kills while senior Ashley Wright chipped in seven. Sophomore Allison Doerpinghaus added six kills on 16 swings.

Senior Lindsay Niemeier tallied 30 assists to go along with eight digs. Sophomore Ryann Ensrud paced Eastern with 15 digs while Doerpinghaus and junior Kelsey Julian each recorded three blocks.

The Bears raced out to a 12-2 lead early in the first set, winning nine straight points in the early going. An attack error from Alyssa Wilson got the Eagles to within eight, 16-8, but another run from the hosts put the set out of reach. EWU went on a late run, winning two consecutive points to stave off set point, but a service error from Ensrud gave UNC the opening frame.

Northern Colorado maintained its momentum from the first set, opening up a 16-6 lead in the second frame thanks to a 8-0 run midway through the set. The Eagles failed to get anything going in the set as the Bears cruised to victory, taking a 2-0 lead into the break.

Eastern atoned for a poor showing in the first two frames with a strong performance in the third set, turning a 6-4 deficit into an 11-7 lead. The Bears rallied to tie the match at 20-20, but EWU reeled off three straight points to gain a 23-20 advantage late in the set. UNC managed to tie the score at 24-24, but a kill from Wright and a bad set from Ashley Guthrie saw Eastern take the third frame and live to fight another set.

The fourth set was a back-and-forth affair throughout, as neither team was able to gain any separation. Down by four midway through the set, three consecutive service aces from Doerpinghaus tied the match at 15-15. With the score even at 18-18, Northern Colorado scored two straight points before an attack error from Wilson pulled the Eagles to within one, 20-19. UNC would score five of the final six points, however, to win the set and the match.

Kendra Cunningham led all players with a match-high 21 kills while Andrea Spaustat added 11 kills. Northern Colorado outhit EWU .278 to .077, but EWU recorded six service aces to the Bears' five.

Eastern returns to the friendly confines of Reese Court this week, hosting Weber State and Idaho State in Big Sky matches. The action gets underway against the Wildcats on Thursday at 6 p.m.

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