October 28, 2013

Eagles Show Fight, Fall To Portland State

Cheney, Wash. – The Eastern Washington women's volleyball team dropped a hard-fought decision to visiting Portland State Monday, Oct. 28, losing in four sets in a Big Sky match at Reese Court.

Eastern falls to 7-16 and 4-8 in Big Sky play with the loss while the Vikings improve to 12-10 (9-3 BSC). Set scores for the match were: 22-25, 16-25, 25-20, 11-25.

Portland State also claimed the two Dam Cup points that were up for grabs with the win. The Vikings now lead the overall contest 7-0.

Junior Kelsey Julian led EWU with 12 kills, hitting .423 with 26 attacks and only one error. She added six digs and four blocks. Classmate Talia Fermantez added nine kills and six blocks.

Senior Lindsay Niemeier tallied her fourth double-double of the year with 23 assists and 10 digs. Both juniors Stanka Panic and Emily Sarff each added nine digs apice.

Sophomore Allison Doerpinghaus tied Fermantez with six blocks.

Eastern quickly took a 1-0 lead on a service ace to open play, but Portland State reasserted itself, gaining a 7-3 lead on a kill from Katie O'Brien. The Vikings maintained their lead throughout the first set, but the Eagles refused to go quietly, pulling to within one, 16-15, on a service ace from senior Ashley Wright. The score stayed within three points the rest of the way with EWU unable to break through as the visitors claimed a tough opening set.

The second frame was a back-and-forth affair in the early going with the Vikings taking an 8-5 lead on a kill from Leigh-Ann Haataja before Eastern rallied to take a 12-11 lead behind a kill from Julian. PSU responded, regaining a two-point advantage, 15-13, on a block before a Fermantez kill brought the Eagles back to within one. EWU would get no closer, however, as Portland State upped its play down the stretch, closing the set on a 6-0 run to take a 2-0 lead into the break.

The visitors looked poised to escape with a sweep in the early moments of the third set, taking a 4-0 lead thanks to a service ace from Haataja. The Eagles dug themselves out of the hole with a nice run of play, eventually taking a 13-11 lead on back-to-back kills from Julian. A kill from Aubrey Mitchell saw the Vikings pull to within one, 14-13, before Eastern reeled off four straight points to open up an 18-13 advantage. Portland State would crawl back to within two twice more but EWU shut the door each time, getting a block from Fermantez and freshman Chloe Watson to force a fourth set.

Portland State came out determined in the fourth frame, taking a 9-3 lead on a kill from Jaklyn Wheeler. A kill from Fermantez brought the Eagles to within four, 9-5, but the Vikings proved determined to avoid a fifth set, denying Eastern's attack at almost every turn while opening up a commanding advantage that proved too much to overcome.

Kaeli Patton led PSU with 12 kills while both Mitchell and O'Brien added 10 apiece. Garyn Schlatter finished with a double-double of 43 assists and 10 digs.

Portland State hit .239 for the match compared to Eastern's .149 clip. The Vikings notched 10 service aces to the Eagles' two, but EWU outblocked the visitors, 12-10.

Eastern will hit the road for a pair of Big Sky matches against the Montana schools this weekend. Things get underway against Montana on Thursday, Oct. 31, at 6 p.m. 

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