Eagles Play Next Four on the Road

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

  • W. Volleyball - Thursday, September 28 - at *Sacramento State - 7:00 p.m.
  • W. Volleyball - Saturday, September 30 - at *Weber State - 6:00 p.m.

Previous Action (*Big Sky Conference):

  • W. Volleyball - Thursday, September 21- vs *Northern Arizona - L 3-0
  • W. Volleyball - Saturday, September 23 - vs *Northern Colorado - L 3-1

Team Highlights:

  • After dropping conference matches to Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado last week, the Eastern Washington University women's volleyball team (7-6, 0-4) is still winless in the Big Sky Conference.
  • The Eagles will play their next four conference matches on the road, starting Thursday (Sept. 28) at Sacramento State (14-4, 2-0). After Sacramento State, the Eagles will travel to Weber State on Saturday (Sept. 30). The Wildcats (4-14, 0-4), are the only other team in conference that is winless (4-14, 0-4).
  • Two matches in Montana will wrap-up EWU's four-match road schedule, playing at Montana State (5-7, 1-2), Oct. 5, and then at Montana (6-6, 3-10), Oct. 7. Eastern returns home Oct. 11 to face Idaho in a non-conference match.
  • In the match against Northern Colorado, senior Brittney Page led the Eagles in kills with 17, while Chrystal Johnson wasn't far behind with 16 and Addie Webster finished with 10. Johnson also finished with 17 digs, giving her a double-double on the night. Mandy Daniels finished with a team high 21 digs.
  • Three Eagles had double digit kills in the match against Northern Arizona. Brittney Page had a team high 14, Chrystal Johnson had 11 with a .526 hitting percentage and Addie Webster added 10. Ashley Gandauli led the team with 16 assists.
  • In their first eight conference matches, Eastern will play on the road for six of those. But the Eagles will play six of their last eight against the Big Sky at home.
  • The Eagles lost their first two conference matches of the year to Idaho State 3-1 and Portland State 3-1.
  • As a team, Eastern is leading the Big Sky in hitting at .241 as of September 25. The Eagles are also ranked second in opponent hitting percentage (.156) and third in assists (13.89), kills (15.07) and service aces (1.89) per game. They also rank fifth in blocks (2.34), and digs (16.13) per game.
  • In the last eight seasons entering the 2006 season, Eastern is 71-7 at home for a .910 winning percentage. Eastern has ranked in the top 30 nationally in attendance each of those seasons. In 2005, the Eagles were ranked 29th in the nation with 1,110 fans per game.
  • Last week, the Eagles recorded 1, 642 fans against Northern Arizona, and had 1, 484 fans against Northern Colorado.
  • 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 going into the match against Gonzaga on Sept. 12, but is currently sitting on a five-match losing streak.
  • The last victory came for Eastern on Sept. 4 against Rider University.
  • This is the first time since 1995 that the Eagles have started the league 0-4. Eastern lost its first eight Big Sky matches that season and finished 3-11 in the Big Sky and 8-20 overall.

Individual Highlights:

  • As of September 25, Brittney Page leads the Big Sky in hitting percentage at .339. Freshmen Hayley Hills is also ranked in the top ten in the conference (ninth at .262). Page is also third in conference for kills per game, averaging 3.93.
  • Addie Webster ranks ninth overall in the conference with 3.36 kills per game.
  • Freshman Amanda Yausie ranks seventh in the Big Sky Conference with 7.36 assists per game.
  • Kristen Ponce is ranked ninth in conference for digs per game (3.92).
  • Kristen Ponce and Brittney 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 lost 3-0 to Wichita State in the championship match.
  • On Aug. 29, Eastern's Brittney 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 how the Eagles have been playing against Big Sky teams: "We are struggling and searching for our identity. We are trying not to make as many mistakes at critical moments as we have been making. The players are working hard and showing some character. I think we will work our way out of this thing, the question is when. We have a lot of new faces on the court and we just have to see how it plays out. We are playing a little scared right now and we need to get our confidence back"
  • On Brittney Page and Addie Webster: "Brittney Page has been pretty consistent for us which has been great. Addie Webster has been struggling a little bit now but is working her way out of it. These are two ladies who have shown some nice leadership during the struggle."
  • On Chrystal Johnson: "She has been playing pretty good for the last couple of matches in a row and we are excited to see that. We hope that she can keep consistency. Sometimes she can go out and have great matches and other times she just will not be around."
  • On their next four games on the road: "We are trying to play better on our side so it doesn't really matter who we play. Obviously anyone can beat us. The thing is to just keep working. It doesn't matter if we play Sacramento State or Weber State, we are just trying to win games and string points together. If we do that we are going to win matches, so we aren't really focused on who we are playing."
  • On How the Preseason Prepared Them for Conference: "I think our preseason was a little too soft for us. We played some pretty weak competition and I think that might have hurt us."
  • 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."

 

Links:

Story on Former Eagle Volleyball Player Janelle Ruen, now on the AVP Beach Volleyball Tour - http://goeags.cstv.com/sports/w-volley/spec-rel/081506aaa

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