Berkeley, Calif. – The young Eastern Washington University volleyball team learned it will need to grow up quickly after suffering a 3-0 defeat to Seattle in its 2015 season opener as part of the Molten Classic on Friday, Aug. 28.
Eastern drops to 0-1 on the year while Seattle improves to 1-0 with the victory.
After a back-and-forth first set that saw neither team lead by more than three points, the two sides found themselves even at 16-16 late in the frame. A kill from Seattle's Matea Mamic gave the Redhawks the right to serve, and EWU committed four consecutive errors to fall behind 20-16.
The Eagles could not recover as three straight service aces gave SU a win in the opening period that set the tone for the rest of the match.
Senior Allie Schumacher and sophomores Ashley Seiler and Chloe Weber led Eastern with four kills apiece while junior Sophie Miller and freshman Jessica Gilbert each hit over .325 on eight and six attempts, respectively.
Sophomore Megan LaFond registered a pair of service aces and led the Eagles with eight digs off the bench.
Seattle swung at a .324 clip on the night, committing just seven attack errors. EWU, on the other hand, fell victim to 23 attacking miscues and was never able to find its offensive rhythm.
The Redhawks were also deadly from the service line, registering 12 aces to the Eagles' four.
Quoting Coach Benson
"Tonight came down to us just not being steady enough. We played a lot of people, and we're still trying to figure out what works in terms of personnel. I'm confident that this team will continue to get better and continue to improve."
Head coach Wade Benson will have to wait for career victory No. 250 as he currently owns 249 wins in his 13 seasons as a head coach, nine of which came at EWU.
Benson played 16 players on the night, handing EWU debuts to eight players. Newcomers redshirt senior Alexis Wesley, a graduate transfer from Memphis, and freshman Ka'iulani Ahuna both started the match.
SU improves to 6-2 all-time against Eastern and has now won the last two meetings.
The Eagles are back in action tomorrow morning, Aug. 29, at 10 a.m. PT against California, the host of the Molten Classic. Tomorrow afternoon sees EWU wrap up its stay in the Golden State with a match versus Nevada at 4:30 p.m. PT.