Eagles volleyball moves to 6-0 in conference


Photo by Karissa Berg

Chloe Weber makes a successful pass over the net against the Vikings.

By Brandon Cline, Sports Editor

The Eastern Washington volleyball team refuses to lose. After another weekend sweep, the Eagles moved to 6-0 in Big Sky conference play and now have a two-game lead on the University of North Dakota, which sits in second place in the North Division.

The first of two weekend matches came on Oct. 8, with the Eagles facing the Sacramento State Hornets, which came into the match with a 3-1 record in conference play. The Eagles took the first two sets comfortably, 25-21 and 25-18, but hit -.053 in the third set, losing it, 14-25.

With the fourth set being tied at 11, the Eagles went on a 14-8 run to close out the set and the match. EWU out-hit Sacramento State .228 to .170 in the match and moved to 5-0 in conference play.

“I think the match came down to a serve and pass game and we handled the ball really well for the most part,” said head coach Michael King. “Our ability to serve tough at critical times was what lead us to victory tonight.”

The Hornets had nine aces and the Eagles finished with six, but Sacramento State continually shot itself in the foot with 15 service errors while the Eagles had just six.

Senior Ana Jakovljevic had a match-high three aces and 16 kills, continuing her hot stretch in conference play. Libero Ryann Ensrud piled up 18 digs, and Alexis Wesley and Chloe Weber each had four blocks.

The Portland State Vikings came to Cheney on Oct. 10, sitting at 1-4 in conference after a loss two days earlier to Idaho, who were then 1-3.

Like the match against Sacramento State, the Eagles raced out to a comfortable two-sets-to-none lead over the Vikings. Portland State was held to a .081 and .024 hitting percentage in the first two sets, being out-killed ,25-20, by the Eagles.
Portland State took the third set, 25-18, forcing the Eagles to play at least four sets in consecutive matches. EWU committed 10 errors in the third set, after having just 11 errors in the first two sets combined.

The Eagles defiantly rebounded in the fourth set, reeling off eight straight points to give the Eagles a comfortable 14-3 lead and eventually a 25-14 set win.

Coach King praised the bench after the match. “I loved the energy that our bench provided, and they carried that over into the match,” he said.

Senior Allie Schumacher finished with a match-high 17 kills, while also contributing four blocks.

Ensrud led both teams with 20 digs, while Alexis Wesley’s eight blocks were also a match high.

Jakovljevic put up another strong performance, tallying 12 kills and nine digs, just shy of a double-double.

What’s Next: The Eagles’ next four matches are on the road, with the Eagles taking on the Montana schools this coming weekend. The Eagles face the 1-5 Montana State Bobcats on Oct. 15 and the 0-6 Montana Grizzlies on Oct. 17. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.