Eastern on the Road Again After Recording First League Win

Oct. 2, 2006

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

  • W. Volleyball - Thursday October 5 - at *Montana State - 6 p.m.
  • W. Volleyball - Saturday October 7 - at *Montana - 6 p.m.
  • W. Volleyball - Wednesday October 11 - Idaho - 7:05 p.m.

Previous Action (*Big Sky Conference):

  • W. Volleyball - Saturday, September 30 - at *Weber State - W 3-0
  • W. Volleyball - Thursday, September 28 - at *Sacramento State - L 3-0

Team Highlights:

  • With a victory over Weber State Saturday (Sept. 30), the Eastern Washington University women's volleyball team (8-7, 1-5) earned its first Big Sky Conference victory of the year.
  • This win also snapped a six-match losing streak for the Eagles that started at Gonzaga Sept. 13.
  • Eastern will try for two in a row as they travel to Montana State on Thursday (Oct. 5). The Eagles will play at the University of Montana on Saturday (Oct 7) before returning home to host Idaho Oct. 11 in a non-conference match.
  • Addie Webster led the Eagles with 16 kills followed by Brittney Page with 12 kills and nine digs in the win over Weber State. Mandy Daniels led Eastern in digs with 16 and Amanda Yausie led in assists with 36.
  • Eastern outhit the Wildcats in the match .288 to .124.
  • On Thursday (Sept. 28), the Eagles fell to league favorite Sacramento State 3-0. The Hornets, the only undefeated team left in the BSC held the Eagles to a .054 hitting percentage for the match. In game one the Eagles hit their best in the match at only .083. The Hornets however hit .311 for the match and didn't hit below .263 in any game.
  • Chrystal Johnson had a double-double for the Eagles with 12 kills and 16 digs against the Hornets. She was the only Eastern player to have double digit kills or digs. Amanda Yausie led the Eagles in assists with 31.
  • In its 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, starting Oct. 12 versus Weber State.
  • 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 .231 as of Oct. 1. The Eagles are also ranked second in opponent hitting percentage (.162) and third in assists (13.76), kills (14.98) and service aces (1.86) per game. They also rank fifth in blocks (2.30) and digs (16.25) per game.
  • In the last eight seasons entering the 2006 season, Eastern was 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.
  • In their first homestand of the season, 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.

Individual Highlights:

  • As of October 1, Brittney Page is fourth in the Big Sky in hitting percentage at .316. Kerri Beck is also ranked in the top ten in the conference (eighth at .275). Page is also fourth in conference for kills per game, averaging 3.84.
  • Addie Webster ranks seventh overall in the conference with 3.47 kills per game.
  • Freshman Amanda Yausie ranks seventh in the Big Sky Conference with 7.83 assists per game.
  • Kristen Ponce is ranked tenth in conference for digs per game (3.64).
  • 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 first victory in the BSC over Weber State: "We are improving. It was good to get a win and be able to win in three on the road. It shows we are making some strides. Kristen Ponce came in and did a very nice job for us. I thought our passing by Addie Webster and Mandy Daniels was really good. It helped us cement the win."
  • On this week's matches at Montana State and Montana: "We are working for a split or better. That is our goal on the road. We have had six matches on the road and two at home in the first half of the season, which is difficult, and we have also had 15 out of 17 on the road this season. I don't know if any other NCAA Division I team in the country has had that schedule. We have to really try to get the split, and then we have a lot of home matches the next couple of weeks. We need to take advantage of it."
  • 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 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 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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