Hammond, La. – The Eastern Washington University volleyball team concluded its stay in the Pelican State with a perfect 4-0 record after topping Southeastern Louisiana in four sets Sunday afternoon, Sept. 6.
EWU improves to 4-3 on the year while Southeastern Louisiana drops to 1-4 with the loss.
Playing their fourth match in three days, the Eagles got off to a bit of a slow start, hitting .115 through the first two frames. Eastern would win the first set but saw the Lions rebound to hit .371 in the second set to even things at 1-1 heading into the break.
After making some adjustments during intermission, EWU found its offensive rhythm in the third set, opening up a 20-14 advantage late in the frame. Just when it seemed poised to run away with the set victory, SLU found some momentum of its own, scoring the next five points to pull to within one, 20-19. The Lions would go on to tie the score at 23-23, but a timely kill from sophomore Nicole Rigoni and a service ace from senior Ryann Ensrud gave the Eagles the set and a 2-1 lead in the match.
Eastern used its strong ending to the third frame as a springboard for an impressive fourth set, cruising to a 25-15 set victory to claim the match.
Senior Allie Schumacher paced EWU with 12 kills while tallying a career-high 19 digs to lead all players.
Freshman Fernanda Vido also had a strong defensive performance, notching a season-best 18 digs.
Rigoni registered 26 assists along with nine digs, finishing just shy of her first double-double of the year.
Eastern hit .217 for the match, swinging at a .350 clip over the third and fourth sets after its slow start. Southeastern Louisiana hit at a .227 clip on the afternoon.
The Lions committed 16 service errors compared to just three for the Eagles.
Quoting Coach Benson
"I'm very proud of this group. We played three straight days of volleyball on the road, and they gutted it out. I thought we served very well today, which forced Southeastern Louisiana into some issues."
Schumacher's 12-kill, 19-dig performance marks her second double-double of the season. She now has 16 career double-doubles.
EWU had never visited the state of Louisiana prior to its stay this past weekend. It has now played matches in 27 different states since becoming an NCAA Division I member prior to the 1982 season.
Tweet of the Match
The Eagles will travel to Hawaii for three matches as part of the Outrigger Resorts Volleyball Challenge. Eastern opens play this Thursday, Sept. 10, against No. 4 Florida at 8:30 p.m. PT.