October 30, 2006

Eagles Sit in Fifth Place with Four Matches Remaining

Oct. 30, 2006

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

  • W. Volleyball - Thursday November 2 - *at Northern Colorado
  • W. Volleyball - Saturday November 4 - *at Northern Arizona

Previous Action (*Big Sky Conference):

  • W. Volleyball - Saturday, October 28 - * Sacramento State - L 3-2
  • W. Volleyball - Thursday, October 26 - *Idaho State - W 3-1

Team Highlights:

  • In a final push toward a post-season playoff spot, the Eastern Washington University volleyball team plays at Northern Colorado Thursday (Nov. 2) and at Northern Arizona Saturday (Nov. 4). The Eagles will conclude the 2006 regular season hosting Montana State Nov. 9 and Montana on Nov. 11.
  • After winning seven of their last eight matches in the Big Sky Conference, the team sits in fifth place with just four matches remaining. The Eagles are two matches behind Montana for third place and one match ahead of sixth place Idaho State.
  • The top six teams in the BSC will make the Big Sky Conference Championships Nov. 16-18 at the site of the regular season champion. The current BSC standings are: Sacramento State (11-1), Portland State (10-2), Montana (9-4), Northern Colorado (7-5), Eastern Washington (6-6), Idaho State (5-9), Northern Arizona (4-8), Montana State (3-10) and Weber State (1-11).
  • 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.
  • Sacramento State snapped EWU's seven-match winning streak Oct. 28, as the Hornets beat the Eagles 3-2 in Cheney. Addie Webster recorded her seventh-straight double-double with 18 kills and 23 digs.
  • Four players, including Webster, Brittney Page, Kerri Beck, and Chrystal Johnson all had double-doubles for the Eagles in their 3-1 victory over Idaho State Oct. 26.
  • The Eagles are ranked 24th in the nation in attendance averaging 1,292 in their first seven home matches of the 2006 season.
  • As a team, Eastern is leading the Big Sky in hitting at .242 and kills (15.87) as of Oct. 29. The Eagles are ranked second in opponent hitting percentage (.155), digs (17.49), and assists (14.43); third in service aces (1.77) and kills (15.87); and sixth in blocks (2.32) 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.

Individual Highlights:

  • As of October 29, Brittney Page is fourth in the Big Sky in hitting percentage at .316 and Kerri Beck is ranked seventh at .297. Page is also sixth in the conference with 3.83 kills per game.
  • Addie Webster ranks fifth overall in the conference with 3.85 kills per game and sixth in service aces per game (.032). Webster is also ranked tenth for digs per game (3.53).
  • Freshman Amanda Yausie ranks fourth in the Big Sky Conference with 9.46 assists per game. She is also third in service aces per game (.037).
  • Mandy Daniels is ranked ninth in the conference with 3.68 digs per game.
  • Brittney Page, a senior outside hitter from Vernon, B.C., was named the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week for matches played Oct. 9-16. Page helped lead the Eagles to victories that week over Idaho, Weber State and Portland State. She finished the week with 45 kills, 24 digs and 18 total blocks. On the opening week of the season back in August, Page was also awarded this honor as she led the Eagles to a 3-1 start.
  • Addie Webster was named Big Sky Player of the Week on Oct. 9 after leading the Eagles to two victories in Montana. Webster finished the weekend with 43 kills, 36 digs, four blocks and a .378 hitting percentage.
  • 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 the Sacramento State Match: "They are a beatable team. They know that and we know that. The question is, who is going to go out there and believe it and do it. We made too many errors when we were still in the match, but we did several good things. The team dealt with adversity very well and we stayed together well as a team. We had some good hitting performances and touched a lot of balls defensively. Statistically, we did better then them in almost every category except a couple, and those we can work on and get better at. I don't know how much better Sacramento State is going to be the next time we play them, but we could be better and that could bode well for us."
  • On the Conference Race and Sitting in Fifth Place: "We are taking it one match at a time. I don't know if we can get third place with Montana being 9-4. There is a possibility if we win out that we could. Montana has to play us and Portland State still -- two teams they have lost to already. If they lose those two they will have six losses like we do with one other match. If they go 10-6 and we win all four then we would beat them on the tie-breaker to get third. It is definitely a goal to try to achieve, but it is not the end for us."
  • On Raelynn Chaffee, Stephanie Baker and Kerri Beck: "Raelynn is steady and solid. She has been a nice little added piece to our team. She blocks well, is getting better offensively and is serving a good ball. Stephanie Baker has also come in and given us really good minutes. It just depends on who is playing better out of the two. Stephanie and Raelynn are rotating around with Kerri Beck. They are all good middles and I am confident in all of them."
  • On the Win Over Idaho State: "After being off 11 days it was hard to tell how were going to play. Not being in competition for that long is difficult. I thought we handled it pretty well. We came out really well which I was happy with, but then we kind of hung around and weren't that sharp in game two. In games three and four we played solid and we closed well which was nice to see. It was a match we really needed to win with Sacramento State up next."
  • On Brittney Page Being Named BSC Player of the Week Oct. 9-16: "She has really matured as a player and I am very proud of her. It has been a work in progress with Brittney as she would probably tell you. She has come a long way and is more disciplined and is leading the team by how she is playing. She is extremely consistent which is what we need right now and has been a huge factor to the winning streak that we have been on."
  • On Addie Webster being named BSC Player of the Week Oct. 2-9: "She has been steady and that is big for us because we need consistent numbers from her. She put up huge numbers last week at Montana State and Montana and settled in this week. She probably didn't have the greatest hitting performance against Portland State, but she matured in the fact that she passed, served and blocked really well, and that is a great sign for Addie."
  • On Chrystal Johnson's Play: "I think Chrystal has been an un-sung hero for our team. She has really come through a lot in some matches that we needed her to. She is somebody that people have to game-plan towards. She is very consistent and has put a lot of effort into this years which has been much appreciated."
  • 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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