August 24, 2007

Eastern Plays Tough, Outlasted by Arizona

Aug. 24, 2007

Box Score

The Eastern Washington Eagles concluded a promising first day at the Sheraton Four Points Wildcat Classic with a solid performance against the host Arizona Wildcats, a team which received votes in the AVCA preseason top-25 poll. Eastern was outlasted by U of A, 30-25, 30-18, 30-24, in the Friday evening (Aug. 24) contest.

In the match, Hayley Hills led the Eagles in kills for the second time on the day, recording 15 against Arizona to break the sophomore's previous career-high total of 14, set in a 3-1 win over Texas-San Antonio almost exactly a year ago, Aug. 26, 2006.

Mandy Daniels was a stabilizing force in the back the entire match and recorded 21 digs. The total tied a career high for the junior for digs in a three-game match - originally set last year in back-to-back 3-0 sweeps over Montana State and Montana on Nov. 9 and 11, respectively. It also tied for the seventh-highest dig total in her career for matches of any length.

The Eagles came out strong in the initial stanza, as the teams were not separated by more than three points early on, and a kill by Hills earned Eastern a late 19-18 advantage. At that point, however, Arizona went on a 6-1 run for a 24-20 lead and never let its advantage get below three on its way to the 30-25 win.

The second game was a different story, however, as the Wildcats took a stranglehold on the game early on, going up 10-3, and never looked back on their way to a convincing 30-18 victory.

Game three then saw the tide swing back again, as the Eagles held right with Arizona for most of the match, even leading late, 23-22. At that point, five straight U of A tallies earned Arizona a 27-23 lead on its way to the match-clinching 30-24 victory.

The Eagles started the day's action with a 30-11, 30-27, 30-24 loss to Saint Mary's. Eastern Washington will wrap up play at the tournament at 4 p.m. on Saturday (Aug. 25) versus Utah State. The Aggies are also 0-2 on the season after losing, 30-24, 30-26, 30-25, to Arizona and falling to Saint Mary's, 30-15, 30-26, 30-26. Live stats of the match can be accessed at livestats.arizonaathletics.com/arizona/volleyball/game/

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