Eastern volleyball back home after many miles on the road
After spending the last two weekends on the road, the Eastern Washington women’s volleyball team is back in the friendly confines of Reese Court for a pair of matches this week, hosting Weber State and Idaho State in Big Sky matches.
The Eagles square off with the Wildcats on Thursday, Oct. 17, at 6 p.m. before taking on the Bengals on Saturday at 11 a.m. Fans with tickets to Saturday’s home football game will be given free admission to Saturday’s match by visiting the ticket booth on the north side of Reese Court.
Eastern (6-13, 3-5 Big Sky) dropped league tilts at North Dakota and Northern Colorado last weekend after splitting two contests at Southern Utah and Northern Arizona two weeks ago. All told, the Eagles traveled 5,435 miles over the last two weeks, setting foot in five different states, four different airports and three different time zones.
Facing a North Dakota team that had won its previous eight matches, the Eagles dropped a tough first set before responding with strong performances in the second and third frames. Eastern staved off set point in the second frame five times before UND finally won a point. The third set was equally close as EWU answered every North Dakota point to keep it interesting. UND ended the set on a 3-0 run to win the match and remain unbeaten in Big Sky play.
Eastern lost the first two sets at Northern Colorado before rebounding to win the third set, 26-24. The fourth set was a back-and-forth affair that saw neither team gain any separation. The Eagles pulled to within one, 20-19, but the Bears scored five of the final six points to win the match.
Senior Lindsay Niemeier continued her strong play, totaling 51 assists on the weekend. She had 21 helpers against North Dakota and added a career-best seven kills. She went for 30 assists and eight digs versus Northern Colorado, narrowly missing out on her fourth double-double of the year.
Sophomore Ryann Ensrud put together two solid performances at libero, notching 17 digs against North Dakota and 15 digs against Northern Colorado. Freshman Chloe Watson also had a strong game against the Bears, tallying eight kills and nine digs.
Weber State (5-16, 1-7 Big Sky) enters tonight’s match having lost 10 of its last 11 outings, including its last three. The Wildcats’ lone league win came against Northern Colorado in September. Idaho State (12-7, 6-2 Big Sky) are currently tied for second place in the league standings after winning four straight conference matches.