Aug. 31, 2007
The Eastern Washington University volleyball team enacted a stunning rally from two games down for a 25-30, 23-30, 30-18, 30-19, 15-10 victory over Colgate at the PowerAde/Asics Classic on Friday evening (Aug. 31).
The victory was not only Eastern's first from a 2-0 deficit since a 30-32, 26-30, 30-27, 32-30, 15-10 win over Oregon State on Oct. 5, 2002, but it also marked the initial one in NCAA Division I play for interim head coach Irene Matlock.
"We are very exited," Matlock said. "It was the first collegiate win for some of these young ladies. It was a very exciting match. We came out very slow and lacked a little bit of confidence, but in the third game we started gaining momentum. Our serves were good, then our defense, our momentum and our confidence picked up."
Chenoa Coviare was on fire tonight. She hit .750 (17-2-20) in the contest, the highest hitting percentage recorded by an Eagle with at least 12 kills since Brittney Page hit .875 (15-1-16) in a 3-0 win over St. Francis (N.Y.) on Sept. 1, 2006. It is also the second-best hitting percentage recorded by an Eagle in at least five years. The average is extraordinarily high for a five-game match. She hit a perfect 1.000 (8-0-8) over the final three games after hitting at a still-outstanding .583 clip (9-2-12) in the first two stanzas.
"Chenoa connected on everything," Matlock said. "She had a great match."
Hayley Hills led the team in kills with 22, the highest kill total for an Eagle since Chrystal Johnson had 25 in a 3-1 win over Northern Colorado on Nov. 2, 2006. That sum also broke her previous career record of 15, set just two matches ago in a 3-0 loss to Arizona last Friday (Aug. 24). She hit .362 (22-5-47) in tonight's contest, .458 (14-3-24) in the final three games.
"Hayley had a great match, too, and played outstanding the final three games," Matlock said.
Amanda Yausie connected with the hitters time and time again, contributing 51 assists to the winning cause. Also recording double-digit kill totals in the win were Chelsea Ross (14) and Alysha Cook (10).
In the back, four Eagles had 10 or more digs: Mandy Daniels (19), Hills (15), Ross (10) and Yausie (10). Hills, Ross and Yausie each had double-doubles in the contest.
Matlock is now 1-3 on the season after going 715-246 in 19 years as the Community Colleges of Spokane mentor. She earned her milestone win on her birthday.
Eastern took an early 4-1 lead in the first game, but that would turn out to be the team's largest lead of the stanza. The teams stayed close the entire game, as neither team was able to garner greater than a four-point lead. Colgate would pull away from a 23-23 tie for a game victory.
Colgate responded to Eastern Washington scoring the first point of the second game by immediately scoring three straight points and then never relinquishing the lead. Its largest lead of eight came at 15-7, but Eastern rallied back to trail by just three, 22-19. At that point, the Red Raiders put the game out of reach with a four-point run.
After the break, it was Eastern's turn to take early control of the stanza, as the Eagles went up 5-1 and never lost the lead. Eastern Washington grabbed commanding 17-9 and 26-13 leads on its way to the convincing game victory.
In the fourth game, a 7-1 Eagle lead allowed Eastern Washington to take control of that game, as well, and never look back. The largest Eagle leads came at 18-9 and 21-12.
The fifth and deciding game, however, started out nip-and-tuck, as the teams split the first eight points. A pair of Allison Reinstein service aces, two of her four on the evening, rounded out a 3-0 run for a 7-4 Eagle advantage. The closest Colgate would get the rest of the way was 9-8. At that point, Eastern went on a 6-2 run to close out the game and match.
The Eagles continue play at the PowerAde/Asics Classic on Saturday (Sept. 1). Eastern takes on Oral Roberts (2-2) at 1 p.m. and then the host San Francisco Dons (2-1) at 7 p.m. Those two teams face each other in the other match tonight. Live stats for the EWU-USF contest will be available at www.usfdons.com.