September 5, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 20

Eagles are quick to get second VB victory of 2013

Maybe the turnaround has already begun for Eastern Washington University volleyball.

With back-to-back wins this past week, including Monday night’s 3-0 victory, 25-18, 25-22 and 25-21 over Seattle University on the road at the Connolly Center, the Eagles under head coach Wade Benson, have evened their record at 2-2.

It took until October 2012 when Eastern scored consecutive victories, this time in Big Sky Conference play with a pair of 3-0 wins over Sacramento State and Montana, to equal the win totals they have after four matches.

Eastern was winless in 23 matches before notching a victory in 2012.

Sophomore Allie Schumacher paced the Eagles with 10 kills, hitting .500 for the match. Juniors Talia Fermantez and Melissa Waelter added seven kills apiece while classmate Kelsey Julian and sophomore Allison Doerpinghaus each contributed five kills.

“We put together a complete, high-level match tonight,”Benson said. “Everyone played a role tonight, from the starters who played very well to the non-starters who gave our team great energy.”

Eastern earned their first win in the third match of the Oregon Classic Saturday, scoring set victories of 25-23, 25-14, 25-20 over Bryant University (0-3) from Rhode Island.

Earlier in the day, Ohio University scored a 3-0 win with set victories of 25-12, 25-20, 25-20 in their second contest of the Oregon Classic. The Eagles fell to 0-2.

Waelter and sophomore Schumacher paced the Eagles with four kills apiece. Senior Lindsay Niemeier led the squad with eight assists while Waelter recorded a team-best nine digs.

Waelter led Eastern with eight kills on 21 swings. Schumacher went for six kills while Niemeier and Ashley Wright added five kills apiece. Niemeier led the team with 15 assists and added eight digs. Sophomore Ryann Ensrud recorded a game-high 16 digs.

The Eagles opened the season with a 3-0 loss, 25-20, 25-14 and 28-26 to host Oregon, Aug. 30 in the Oregon Classic, and in Benson’s first match back with EWU after returning to the school last December.

Freshman Sophie Miller paced EWU with 14 assists while Niemeier recorded 11 assists in her first game back after suffering a season-ending injury in last year's opening match. Ensrud had 15 digs, nearly half of the Eagles' total of 39.

Eastern remains on the road visiting the Cougar Challenge in Pullman Sept. 6-7 before playing at San Jose, Sept. 11 and at the University of San Diego tournament Sept. 13-14. The Eagles open Big Sky Conference play at home Thurs., Sept. 19 against Sacramento State.

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