September 13, 2006

Eagles open Big Sky play on the road at Idaho State

Sept. 13, 2006

Coming Up (Times Pacific; *Big Sky Conference):

  • W. Volleyball - Thursday, September 14 - at *Idaho State - 6 p.m.
  • W. Volleyball - Saturday, September 16 - at *Portland State - 7 p.m.
  • W. Volleyball - Thursday, September 21- vs *Northern Arizona - 7:05 p.m.
  • W. Volleyball - Saturday, September 23 - vs *Northern Colorado - 7:05 p.m.

 

Previous Action (*Big Sky Conference):

  • W. Volleyball - Friday, August 25 - Wichita State Tournament

- EWU vs. Syracuse - W 3-0

- EWU vs. Louisiana Tech - W 3-0

  • W. Volleyball - Saturday, August 26 - Wichita State Tournament

- EWU vs. Wichita State - L 0-3

- EWU vs. Texas San Antonio - W 3-1

  • W. Volleyball - Wednesday, August 30 - Manhattan - W 3-0
  • W. Volleyball - Friday, September 1 - St. Peter's Tournament

- EWU vs. St. Francis - W 3-0

- EWU vs. St. Peter's - W 3-0

  • W. Volleyball - Monday, September 4 - at Rider - W 3-0
  • W. Volleyball - Tuesday, September 12 - at Gonzaga - L 2-3

Team Highlights:

  • Eastern Volleyball opens Big Sky Conference play on the road Thursday (Sept. 14) at Idaho State then on Saturday (Sept. 16) at Portland State. Going into conference play the Eagles are 7-2 and picked to finish second behind Sacramento State. The Eagles are looking to make their 11th-straight appearance in the Big Sky Conference Tournament.
  • Eastern opens its nine-match home schedule on Thursday, Sept. 21, against Northern Arizona at 7:05 p.m. at Reese Court. In the last eight seasons, Eastern is 71-7 at home for a .910 winning percentage. Eastern has ranked in the top 30 nationally in each of those seasons. In 2005, the Eagles were ranked 29th in the nation with 1,110 fans per game.
  • The Eagles have finished third or better in the Big Sky regular season each of the last 10 years and have reached the title game six-straight years. They also have had an impressive streak of five-straight seasons of winning at least 20 matches, and at least 20 wins in eight of the last nine years.
  • Eastern had won five matches in a row and its last 15 going into the match against Gonzaga. They had previously won 15 matches in a row against the Bulldogs before they were upset 3-2 on Sept. 13. Entering the match against Gonzaga, Eastern was allowing a mere .080 hitting percentage by their opponents but the Bulldogs hit .253, which is the highest against the Eagles this season.
  • Eastern entered the match against Gonzaga leading the Big Sky in offensive hitting percentage (.275) and defensive hitting percentage (.080). The Eagles were also leading the league in service aces (2.28) per game.
  • The Eagles concluded a season-opening eight-match road trip with a 7-1 record. The trip, lasting 11 days, resulted in a second place finish at the Best Western Volleyball Classic in Wichita, Kan., and the championship of the Peahen Invitational Tournament in Jersey City, N.J.

Individual Highlights:

  • Eagle senior Brittany Page leads the Big Sky in hitting percentage at .383. Also ranking in the top 10 for hitting percentage in the conference are: freshman Hayley Hills (second at .370), sophomore Addie Webster (seventh at .298), Julia Reis (ninth at .268) and senior transfer Stephanie Baker is (tenth at .258).
  • Sophomore Addie Webster leads her class with 3.37 kills per game.
  • Kristen Ponce and Brittany Page were named to the Best Western Classic Inn All-Tournament Team in Wichita, Kan., on Aug. 26, after the Eagles defeated Syracuse, Louisiana Tech, and Texas San Antonio. Eastern the lost 3-0 to Wichita State in the championship match.
  • On Aug. 29, Eastern's Brittany Page was named co-Big Sky player of the week along with Lindsay Haupt of Sacramento State. Page helped lead the Eagles to a 3-1 record in the opening week while hitting .358 with 51 kills and 13 blocks.
  • Head Coach Wade Benson entered the 2006 season with a 134-46 (.744 winning percentage) record in six seasons with the Eagles. He entered the year 68-18 (.791) in Big Sky play with three Big Sky regular season titles. In the last four seasons alone, Benson's teams had compiled a 48-8 Big Sky record.

 

Comments from Head Coach Wade Benson:

  • On Conference Race: "People should pick us fifth or sixth if they look at what we have coming back and what we lost. Where we fit in the mix is way up in the air, but we will be a tough out. Even rebuilding, I still think people will struggle with us because we have players that are used to winning and hopefully that will transfer into some wins for us."

  • On Big Sky Schedule: "It is going to be a weird schedule anyway with Northern Colorado in the league, so everything is going to be brand new in regards to where we are going and how we are going to get there. But I like having the last few matches at home and hopefully we will be good enough to make it into the Big Sky Conference Championships."

 

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