Volleyball Falters At Eastern Washington
CHENEY, Wash. - The Northern Colorado volleyball team got a slow start offensively and struggled to recover, getting swept by Eastern Washington 27-25, 25-21, 25-19 at the site of the Big Sky Conference Tournament in two weeks.
Senior Allison Raguse paced the Bears, notching 13 kills and hitting .321, but it wasn't quite enough to lift the team on the road. Senior outside hitter Kenzie Shreeve was next on the team with eight kills and she had the team's lone ace of the evening. Senior libero Breanna VanDerMost had a team-best seven digs and four different players each had one block.
The Eagles (16-9, 10-4 Big Sky) scored the first five points of the match and the Bears (18-10, 11-3 Big Sky) played from behind the entire night. EWU also did a nice job of reading the Bears' offense, getting 9.5 blocks. Senior Hayley Hills led all players with 17 kills, 14 digs and hit .414, while junior Chenoa Coviare had 13 kills, eight blocks and hit .571.
"Certainly this isn't how we pictured this match," said Head Coach Lyndsey Benson. "I just felt they took the match to us, they came out on the attack early and we played catch up the whole match. We just could never quite find our rhythm in the match. I thought Allison had it at times and really carried our team at points in the match. We couldn't find that consistently from all of our hitters."
The match makes things extremely interesting in the Big Sky title hunt as Portland State defeated Northern Arizona to take a one-match lead in the standings. The Vikings are 12-2, while the Bears sit second at 11-3 and the Eagles are one back at 10-4. NC heads to Portland for a matchup with the Vikings Saturday evening at 7:00 (Pacific), while the Eagles host Northern Arizona.
"We've got to bounce back for a quick turnaround tomorrow," stated Benson. "Now it's the most important match of our season."
The match Saturday can be seen on bigskytv.org. The Bears conclude their regular season next Saturday evening, hosting Northern Arizona at 7:00 p.m. The team's four seniors will be honored prior to the match.