Cheney, Wash. – The Eastern Washington University volleyball team made quick work of visiting Idaho Saturday night, Oct. 3, beating the Vandals in straight sets in a Big Sky Conference match at Reese Court.
EWU improves to 4-0 in conference play and 9-6 overall while Idaho drops to 1-3 in league action and 4-12 overall.
Eastern came out hot, swinging at a .369 clip as a team over the first two sets en route to taking a 2-0 advantage into the break. The Eagles remained on the offensive in the third set, opening up a 19-12 lead on a service ace by senior Ana Jakovljevic.
The Vandals refused to go away quietly, however, as the visitors used a 9-3 run to pull to within one, 22-21, late in the frame. Kills from senior Alexis Wesley and Jakovljevic stopped Idaho's streak and gave Eastern the serve on match point. UI's Katelyn Peterson put down a kill to keep the Vandals in the game before Jakovljevic found the floor on the ensuing play, claiming the set and match for the Eagles.
Sophomore Nicole Rigoni finished with 35 assists on the night, orchestrating EWU's offense while finding hitters at the right time.
Jakovljevic led Eastern with 11 kills on 30 swings, adding six digs and a season-high three service aces.
Freshman Jessica Gilbert added nine kills on 17 swings to go along with four digs while Wesley and senior Allie Schumacher chipped in with eight kills apiece. Schumacher also tallied 12 digs while Wesley notched three blocks.
Senior Ryann Ensrud led all players with 14 digs.
The Eagles hit .314 for the match and held Idaho to a .135 clip.
EWU recorded 43 digs to the Vandals' 34, but UI finished with seven blocks compared to four for Eastern.
Quoting Coach King
"Give a lot of credit to Idaho. They handled our serving very well and forced us to have to do some things differently offensively. Our team was able to make some adjustments, and came through with the win."
The last time the Eagles started Big Sky play at 4-0 was back in 2011. Eastern is on the precipice of a 5-0 start for the first time since 2009.
EWU's nine victories so far this season already match last year's output and are one shy of the 2013 season.
EWU welcomes Sacramento State to Reese Court this Thursday, Oct. 8. First serve is set for 6 p.m. PST.