EWU volleyball club takes home a title

By Josh Friesen, Sports Editor


The Eastern women’s volleyball club battled through a variety of larger schools around the country to emerge as Division II National Club Volleyball Champions.

The women fundraised for the trip to Dallas all throughout the year, where they hosted volleyball tournaments, sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts and gained a sponsorship from The Basement in Cheney.

Though the women struggled to make ends meet to get to Dallas, they succeeded in raising the nearly $10,000 required to fly the team out to compete.

“We kept getting papers confused, so we went through a lot of hassle to go there, but once we finally got there it was just one of those things where it was like, ‘We’re here. Finally, we get to let go,’” senior outside hitter Reese Dever said. “It was just like weight lifted off your shoulders. We were all so thankful that we were able to do that.”

Once the team got off the plane, it was all business. They spent five days in Dallas and spent the time playing against club teams from Texas A&M, Marquette, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana and Massachusetts. According to Dever, it was a big confidence boost knowing the Eagles stacked up against larger schools.

“It’s almost inspiring watching other teams and then seeing your team do so well,” she said. “It was really fun.”
According to Kasey Swanson, junior and president of the volleyball club, the women missed out on competing in the tournament last year. She wanted to make sure the team got to experience the big stage.

“It was a really great way to end our season especially because most of our team is graduating this year,” Swanson said. “It was a really good way for a lot of the girls to end.”

Seeded fourth in their respective pool, Eastern beat UC Santa Barbara, 25-19, 25-19. Their game against Michigan State was not as easy, as it went into three sets. The Eagles prevailed, 25-16, 16-25, 15-10.

The season almost ended before the team made it to the final game. In the semifinal game against Indiana, the Eagles found themselves down 8-20 in the second set. They found a way to rally, however, winning the set 28-26 and giving them a chance to play for the championship against Marquette.

According to senior Jamie Palmer, the team was able to capitalize on the shot of energy that propelled them into the championship game.

“I think that momentum totally took us into the finals,” Palmer said. “We were pretty pumped up.”

In the final game against Marquette, the Eagles won two close sets, 25-21, 25-17, to capture the championship.

“I do remember after it ended and we finally won and everybodys excitement,” Palmer said. “We came out on top of quite a bit of teams.”

The season ended in spectacular fashion for the Eagles, and according to Swanson, she would not have had it any other way.
“It was a really good way to go out because we worked really hard and we played the best that we had,” Swanson said, “ If I were a senior, that’s the way I would want to go out.”