This archived article was written by: Sam McGinnis
After a two week span of nothing but away games, the College Of Eastern Utah Lady Eagles volleyball team came home with one win out of the three games they played. They played very tough, determined, and skilled teams and the Lady Eagles felt satisfied to come home with only one win. “That was our goal for the last two weekends, to come home with at least one win,” said coach Brent Martindale.
On September 26, the Lady Eagles faced Southern Idaho. Southern Idaho is ranked number three in the nation, and has a very broad span of talented players internationally. The Eagles fought hard, but were not able to pull off the win. Southern Idaho beat them in three games, making this an extremely quick win.
“When we were warming up we were basically ready,” commented Martindale, “But, as soon as we were on the court for the match, we basically choked. We got stage fright, and didn’t even start to challenge Southern Idaho until the third game.”
In the first game, the Lady Eagles only had half of the kills that Southern Idaho had. Only eight kills to their 16 kills. They were not very determined this first game losing the first game 16-30. The same situation happened in the second game also, only in the second game the Lady Eagles had a career low of points scoring only five points, making the final score of the second match five to 30.
It wasn’t until the third game that the Lady Eagles began to play their game of volleyball. They pushed hard, and they were able to get Southern Idaho to a tie at 21 to 21. But, as Martindale commented, they choked, and Southern Idaho got away from them to win the match in three games.
Jordan Fox and Amy Collette both played pretty well, having six kills each. Sandra Sorenson let the blocks with only three. Statistically, the team didn’t really do as well as they planned, and that will give them something to focus on when they are practicing for their upcoming games, according to coach Martindale.
After such a harsh loss against Southern Idaho, CEU had to travel to Salt Lake City to compete against SLCC. SLCC is ranked second in the conference, so they are a pretty tough team to come up against, said Martindale. The Lady Eagles had the momentum, but unfortunately had the same turnout as they did with Southern Idaho. They lost.
In game one, the Lady Eagles came on the court looking confident. They looked as if they were ready to win, and began to play great volleyball. They pushed and smashed SLCC beating them 30-18. With the first game under their belts, they wanted to continue with more wins, but a game two victory was not to be. SLCC dominated this time and beat CEU with the same score onlyt reversed as game one, 18-30.
“This match went back and forth, and the team competed hard, but they just have to believe they can do it. I think that they played to the level which they thought they could,” Martindale said.
In the third game, CEU basically “brought it.” They played well thoughout the game, and won 31-29. This was the closest game in the match, and they worked hard to claim the win. But, again as in game two, SLCC came back to win game four. This time, SLCC won the Lady Eagles by nine points making the final score of game four 21-30.
With both teams having two wins, it forced them to a fifth game, which decided the match. Both teams started off strong, but SLCC proved why they were ranked number two, and came ahead of the Eagles winning the game 10-15, giving SLCC the win over CEU.
Again, Jordan Fox led in kills with 16, and only had seven errors. Also, Emily Bowles played exceptionally well against SLCC. She had 13 kills, three errors, and only one block. She ended the game with a .435 percent average.
In order to succeed in their goal of “winning at least one game out of the three,” projected by Martindale, they needed to win against their next match against North Idaho College. CEU fought hard, played tough, and had an “extremely satisfying win.” They accomplished their goal and won three games to two.
This was a close match, every game being only three or four points. In the first game CEU dominated throughout the game, and pulled ahead of North Idaho winning that game 30-27. It was like de ja vu with every game being back and forth. North Idaho won the second game 27-30, in the third CEU won 30-26, and the fourth game North Idaho won 28-30. Both teams again had two games to two, and it was up to the fifth game to determine who was going to win the match. CEU looked confident during the fifth game, and dominated throughout the whole game. They were able pull off the win 15-10. “Statistically, we beat them with everything. All hitters hit in a positive average, and I would say that was their best match of the year,” said Martindale.
Amy Collette stepped up during this game and led in kills, having 18. Jordan Fox wasn’t too far behind with 16, but it was Sandra Sorenson who played the best all around match. Sorenson had nine kills, eight blocks, two aces, six digs, and seven assists. Coach Martindale said that once Sorenson begins to dominate the court, the Lady Eagles would pull off more wins. Sorenson outplayed one of North Idaho’s best hitters, Kara Kiefer. She frustrated her, and that is one of the main reasons why she dominated her on the line.
Now, the Lady Eagles have eight matches left in the season, and five are at home. They hope that the home court is on their side during these matches, because if they are able to win three or four of these games, they will have a chance to take second place in the conference. But, “that is just hopeful wishing,” according to Martindale. The highest that CEU has ever placed in their conference is fifth place, and they want to try and claim the second place finish.
CEU’s next match will be against Colorado North Western. They are ranked last in the conference, but they have improved their game since last year, said Martindale. This game will be an away game, and they are pretty confident that they will win, but they do not want to “soften their game.”