Volleyball Falls to EWU 3-1

Sept. 27, 2005

CHENEY, Wash. -- Eastern Washington's volleyball team took a 30-20, 24-30, 30-25, 30-27, win over Washington State at Reese Court on the EWU campus Tuesday night. It was the final non-conference match of season for WSU and the first time the Eagles have defeated the Cougars in volleyball since 1989 in Pullman.

Eastern Washington (9-4) had five players with double-figure kills led by Lizzy Mellor's 16. Mellor and Andrea Verdoljak each had 18 digs while Christina Albers and Ashley Jensen had four blocks each. Albers had a match-high 48 assists as the Eagles hit .274 for the match.

The Cougar leaders were Natalia Owens with 15 kills, Te'Ara Epps six blocks, Gwen Davis 37 assists and Jalen Pendon's match-high 20 digs. WSU hit .191 for the match.

In the first game, EWU left an 8-all tie to go ahead 17-12 before WSU cut the margin to three, 20-17. The Eagles increased their lead to 27-18, and closed out the game with kills from Beck, Mellor and Johnson for the 30-20 win. Eastern hit a solid .362 in this game.

The second game was tied seven times before knotting at 24 points. Cougars used their entire arsenal to close out the final six points, with Owens and Epps on a big block, Pendon landing an ace, Barcus slamming down a kill and Camp tooling a block. WSU held the Eags to a .094 hitting percentage in the 30-24 win.

EWU's Jensen landed six kills in the third game. Cougars led nearly all of this game but the Eags moved from a 22-all tie to out-score WSU eight to three for the 30-25 win.

Down 23-17 in the fourth game, the Cougars battled back to close the gap to one point, 24-25. The teams traded points until a block by Addie Webster put EWU agt match point. The Eagles took a timeout and after a long rally, Webster hit one out but that was the last point for the Cougs as EWU prevailed 30-27 and three games to one.

'We had many opportunities in both games two and three at critical times when we missed serves,' WSU Head Coach Brian Heffernan said. 'That is what hurt us at the end of the second game and the third game. I thought that our team fought hard tonight and showed a lot of character in coming back. We were down big here in game four and we fought all the way back. We didn't get what we wanted out of it but that is the type of fight that we want. Jen Barcus went back and served some rockets and really created some situations for our defense. We really responded with our counterattacks. That is a positive that even when we're down, we can come back again as a team.'

WSU hosts Pacific-10 Conference foes No. 13 Arizona and Arizona State this Friday and Saturday, respectively, in 7 p.m. matches at Bohler Gym.

Eastern Washington (9-4) def. Washington State (7-7) 30-20, 24-30, 30-25, 30-27STATISTICS:KILLS - EWU 72 (Mellor 16), WSU 57 (Owens 15)HITTING PERCENTAGE - EWU .274, WSU .191ASSISTS - EWU 67 (Albers 48), WSU 52 (Davis 37)DIGS - EWU 82 (Verdoljak, Mellor 18 each), WSU 62 (Pendon 20)BLOCKS - EWU 9 (Albers, Jensen 4 each), WSU 8 (Epps 6)SERVICE ACES - EWU 7 (Beck, Verdoljak 2 each), WSU 8 (Barcus 4)Attendance:  1,271.

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