@EWUVolleyball Hosts Northern Arizona, Travels To Idaho

This Week in @EWUVolleyball

vs. Northern Arizona   at Idaho
Thursday, Nov. 5 - 6 p.m. PST   Saturday, Nov. 7 - 7 p.m. PST
Cheney, Wash. - Reese Court   Moscow, Idaho - Memorial Gym
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Match Notes

Cheney, Wash. – Fresh off clinching a bid to the Big Sky Conference Tournament or the first time in four years, the Eastern Washington University volleyball team faces a pair of tough tests this week with matches against Northern Arizona and Idaho.

Eastern hosts NAU this Thursday, Nov. 5, at 6 p.m., before facing the Vandals in Moscow, Idaho, on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m.

The Eagles' match versus the Lumberjacks also marks the final appearance at Reese Court for seniors Ryann Ensrud, Alexis Wesley, Allie Schumacher and Ana Jakovljevic. The group will be honored prior to the start of the contest.

EWU (14-9, 9-3 Big Sky) secured a spot in this season's conference tournament on the heels of its five-set win over Montana State last Friday, Oct. 30. The Eagles had not earned a bid to the Big Sky Tournament since 2011, tied for the second longest postseason drought in the conference, trailing only Weber State, who last qualified in 2008.

Eastern joins Northern Arizona, Idaho State, Sacramento State and Idaho as teams who have clinched bids to the Big Sky Tournament. NAU is the odds-on favorite to win the regular season title and serve as tournament host, while the Eagles' current standing atop the North Division standings would give them the No. 2 seed.

Northern Arizona (21-4, 11-1 BSC) has won its last 10 matches and is playing arguably the best volleyball of any team in the league. The Lumberjacks' Janae Vander Ploeg seems headed for Big Sky Player of the Year honors and is averaging 4.67 kills per set while hitting at a .279 clip. In conference matches, NAU leads the league in opponent hitting percentage (.158), blocks per set (3.11 b/s) and service aces per set (1.82 sa/s).

Idaho (11-13, 8-4 BSC) has won seven of its last eight matches after falling to EWU in straight sets at Reese Court back on Oct. 3. The Vandals are 6-3 at home so far this season, including a 5-1 mark in league play. UI's offensive attack boasts four players who average more than two kills per set.

The Eagles swept the Vandals earlier this season, hitting .314 as a team while holding Idaho to a .1356 clip. Jakovljevic led EWU with 11 kills and three service aces while Schumacher chipped in with eight kills and 12 digs.

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