Oct. 28, 2006
The Eastern Washington University women's volleyball team (14-8, 6-6) dropped a heartbreaker to the top team in the Big Sky Conference standings, Sacramento State (24-5, 11-1), by 26-30, 30-26, 32-34, 30-24, 17-15 scores on Saturday (Oct. 28) night at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.
The loss ended a season-long seven-match winning streak for EWU. The last team to defeat the Eagles was Sacramento State, who topped Eastern Washington, 30-20, 30-23, 30-21, in Sacramento on Sept. 28. The Hornets have now won 18-of-20.
Both of the first two games were close throughout and set the match for a thrilling third game. That stanza would tie for the highest-scoring one played by EWU so far this season (Eagles lost, 34-32, in third game of 3-1 loss to Idaho State on Sept. 14). Sacramento State, however, bounced back from the 34-32 Eagle win to claim the fourth game and tie the match, 2-2.
Even though the Hornets, who are receiving votes in the USA Today/AVCA Top 25 Poll and have qualified for eight of the past nine NCAA Tournaments, took control of the fifth game, 14-10, Eastern Washington stormed back in dramatic fashion with four straight tallies. After the teams traded points to make the score, 15-15, Sacramento State secured its win with two straight scores.
The deciding game marked the first time that Eastern Washington has played in a fifth game which went past 15 points since a 26-30, 30-17, 30-26, 23-30, 16-14 win at Weber State on Oct. 2, 2003.
EWU outpaced the Hornets in most statistical categories, including kills (86-62), hitting percentage (.205-.184), assists (79-58) and digs (88-79), while Sacramento State held the blocks advantage at 16-9.
Three Eagles had 18 or more kills in the contest, including Chrystal Johnson (22), Brittney Page (20) and Addie Webster (18). Four players recorded double-digit dig totals: Webster (23), Mandy Daniels (19), Johnson (15) and Page (11).
The Eagles return to action next week, traveling to Northern Colorado and Northern Arizona. The UNC contest begins at 6 p.m. PT on Thursday (Nov. 2), while the NAU match will commence at 6 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 4).