Volleyball drops to 7-1

Team defeats Bobcats then falls to Grizzlies


photo contributed by goeags.com

Teammates celebrate at home against Montana State.

By Brandon Cline, Sports Editor

All good things eventually come to an end. After defeating the Montana State Bobcats on Oct. 15, the EWU women’s volleyball team fell for the first time in conference play two days later, in five sets to the Montana Grizzlies.

The Eagles sit at 7-1 in Big Sky play, in first place and two games clear of the second place Idaho Vandals in the North Division. With the Idaho State Bengals losing over the weekend as well, no undefeated teams remain in the Big Sky.

Final Score: Eastern Washington University defeats Montana State University, 16-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-8.

What It Means: The Eagles moved to 7-0 in conference play, while the Bobcats fell to 1-6. The four-set win extended the Eagles’ winning streak to eight matches.

Turning Point: After winning two close sets to go up 2-1 in the match, the Eagles started the fourth set on a 5-0 run, en route to winning the set, 25-8, closing out the match.

Key Statistics: Senior Allie Schumacher led the Eagles with 14 kills, while Alexis Wesley tallied eight kills and nine blocks. Chloe Weber had seven kills and a .467 hitting percentage, with Ryann Ensrud pacing the Eagles in digs with 12.

What They Said: “It took us a long time to find our rhythm tonight. We started off slow and made a few uncharacteristic mistakes,” said head coach Michael King. “Montana State deserves a lot of credit for their performance tonight. Once we found our rhythm, things started to click, and we started to play with that fire and focus we’ve displayed in the past.”

Final Score: University of Montana defeats Eastern Washington University, 19-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-16, 20-18.

What It Means: The Eagles’ conference record goes to 7-1, while the Grizzlies notched their first conference win of the season, improving to 1-7.

Turning Point: The Eagles held a 13-9 lead in the fifth and deciding set, needing just two more points to stay undefeated in conference. The Grizzlies ensued to reel off five straight points and ended up winning the set, 20-18.

Key Statistics: The Eagles’ hit percentage in the second set was just .044, as they failed to capitalize on a low percentage set from the Grizzlies, who hit just .075. The Eagles were 9-0 on the season when winning the first two sets and they move to 11-1 on the season after winning the first set of a match.

Ensrud had 38 digs in the match, third- most all-time in a match in EWU’s Division I history. Senior Ana Jakovljevic tallied 17 kills, while the Grizzlies’ Hannah Sackett recorded a match-high 31 kills. The Eagles had just four blocks on the night, while the Grizzlies finished with 11.5.

What They Said: “Tonight was one of those nights where it was tough to get a rhythm going offensively,” said King. “We didn’t put enough pressure on Montana from the service line and they were able to run their offense well.”

What’s Next: The Eagles stay on the road for two more matches, taking on the 7-1 Idaho State Bengals in Pocatello, Idaho on Oct. 22 and the 1-7 Weber State Wildcats in Ogden, Utah on Oct. 24. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.