Cheney, Wash. – The Eastern Washington University volleyball team topped Portland State in four sets Saturday night, Oct. 10, in a Big Sky Conference match at Reese Court.
The victory improves EWU's league record to 6-0, marking the first time since 2003 that Eastern has started conference play with six straight wins.
Winners of seven straight, the Eagles improve to 11-6 overall and 6-0 in conference play with the win while Portland State drops to 5-13 overall and 1-5 in Big Sky matches.
Fresh off winning the first two sets, EWU saw the Vikings come out of the break determined to get back in the game. The visitors opened up a 10-6 edge early in the frame and would lead by as many as eight points, extending the match to a fourth set.
Eastern would regroup, racing out to a 13-3 lead before going on to claim the set and the match. The Eagles hit .265 in the decisive frame while holding PSU to just nine kills on 44 swings.
Senior Allie Schumacher led all players with 17 kills, hitting .385 (17-2-39) for the match. She added eight digs and four blocks to her stat line.
Both senior Ana Jakovljevic and freshman Jessica Gilbert tallied 12 kills apiece. Gilbert recorded five of her kills in the crucial fourth set, along with three of her five blocks. Jakovljevic finished one dig shy of a double-double with nine.
Sophomore Nicole Rigoni dished out 29 assists and set a new career high with 18 digs.
EWU swung at a .179 clip for the match compared to a .072 hitting percentage for Portland State. Eastern hit over .200 in both the first and fourth sets.
The Vikings put away seven service aces to the Eagles' two, but EWU notched 65 digs to PSU's 49. Eastern tallied 13 blocks while the visitors finished with 10 rejections.
Quoting Coach King
"We had another great performance tonight. "I loved the energy that our bench provided, and they carried that over into the match. I'm very proud of this team for continuing to work hard and bring it every practice and every match."
Tonight's win snaps the Eagles' 12-match losing streak to Portland State dating back to a four-set defeat in Portland, Ore., on Nov. 29, 2008. It was EWU's longest losing streak against a Big Sky opponent.
Ensrud is now just 34 digs away from 1,000 career digs. She is looking to become the eighth player in Eastern's 33-year NCAA Division I history to reach that mark.
The Eagles will hit the road for four consecutive matches beginning this Thursday, Oct. 15, at Montana State. The match is set to begin at 6 p.m. PST.