Oct. 9, 2007
The Eastern Washington University volleyball team was defeated by local rival Gonzaga on Tuesday evening (Oct. 9) by 30-24, 34-32, 30-24 scores. The second game was incredibly close, as neither team had more than a two-point edge the final 47 rallies of the stanza. It was also Eastern's highest scoring game of 2007.
Eastern Washington (6-12) did have an outstanding blocking game tonight, as the team compiled 15 blocks, the second-highest total attained so far this season and a very impressive sum for just three games. Leading the way in that category were Allison Reinstein (7), Alysha Cook (6) and Chenoa Coviare (6). Reinstein's total is tied for the second most by an Eagle in 2007, while Cook's and Covaire's were tied for the fifth-highest sum.
The Eagles did see a pair of players contribute good hitting percentages, as Ashley Hamilton hit at a .429 clip (4-1-7), while Cook hit .375 (12-3-24). Hamilton and Amanda Yausie split the setting duties, as they tallied 23 and 13 assists, respectively.
"We saw a lot of improvement in things we've been working on," interim head coach Irene Matlock said. "Gonzaga is a pretty good team. They are older than we are, and experience does have its advantages. But Alysha (Cook) on our right side had 12 kills tonight and she's a freshman. She is going to be a dominant star in the future for Eastern volleyball."
The first game was full of runs as an 11-5 Eagle advantage became 16-12 Gonzaga after the Bulldogs (13-7) went on a 11-1 run. Eastern then responded to that with a 6-3 spurt to come within one at 19-18, but GU pulled away again by scoring 7-of-9 points to take a commanding 26-20 lead on its way to the game victory.
The second game was incredibly close. From the point that Gonzaga went up 11-9 through the end of its 34-32 win, neither team went up by more than two. The dramatic conclusion of the stanza saw each team have two game points apiece.
In the third game, Gonzaga took 11-6 and 21-15 leads before Eastern went on a 4-0 run to pull within one at 21-20. Unfortunately for EWU, the Bulldogs responded to that with five consecutive points of their own to pull away, 26-20.
The Eagles (5-2 Big Sky Conference) return to Big Sky Conference play this weekend, taking on five-time defending champion Sacramento State (17-3, 6-0 BSC) on the road at 7 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 13).
The Hornets are closing in on being nationally ranked for the first time in school history, as the team was listed third on the "Others Receiving Votes" list of the current AVCA top-25 poll. The Eagles and Sacramento State have played in the Big Sky's championship match the last seven seasons.
"We're trying to peak for the conference tournament," Matlock said. "Every little step we take, the better we are getting."