This archived article was written by: Scott Frederick
In their final conference game of the season, the Lady Eagles took on the Badgers of Snow College at the Activity Center in Ephraim on Nov. 3. The Lady Badgers had just beaten No. 14 SLCC and looked confident and relaxed as they pounded 20 kills against defenseless CEU in the first game and won easily 30-20.
With Karina Rocha not even in the building due to illness Emily Doxey had the task of stepping up as an outside hitter. The beginning few minutes of game two looked to be a blowout as Snow scored eight points to CEU’s one right out of the gate. Coach Brent Martindale called time out and pulled Doxey aside to settle her down, and assured her he was confident in her ability. CEU then went on a seven point run tying the game at eight even.
It looked as if the roles had reversed in game two with CEU full of energy and high fives all over the place. The Eagles got up 17-13 and looked as if they would coast to a win but the Badgers were having none of that. They settled down refocused and caught up with CEU and spurted ahead for a 30-24 win.
Martindale says his team is not hitting on all cylinders and are allowing big runs. Looking at the stat sheet seems to bear this out. Offensively the Badgers had 43 kills to CEU’s 25.
The defense for CEU performed dismally with two block attempts in the match. Olivia Fowler had one and Jamie King had one. Total CEU team blocks for the match? One.
Whereas the Badgers had seven players with one or more block attempts for a total of 10. Six of the block attempts by Snow were successful.
The offensive spark for CEU came from Maren Ericson with seven kills and two service aces. Four kills each went to Ashlie Baker, Doxey and King. Three to Courtney Young, two to Jennie Rudder, and one to Fowler.
Heather McFarland handled most of the setting and had 18 assists with Kindra Romney getting three.
Leading Snow’s offense was Elise Rees with 14 kills, Shalie Flannery had nine, Nikki Sly had seven, Sarah Batemen had six, and Jori Donaldson had five. Damage also came from Jocilyn Randall with eight service aces.
Being in the lead and then losing the second game knocked the wind out of CEU’s sails resulting in the loss of game three 30-21, and the match.
The next day November 4 was the last regular season match of the year for the Lady Eagles again taking on the Snow College Badgers.
According to Martindale, a match is sometimes determined by how you start, and they had a horrible start with the Eagles losing the first game 15-30.
The Eagles as a team played significantly better that the night before but it wasn’t enough to contain the Badgers who went on to win the match in three games. 30-15, 30-20 and 30-25.
Defensively the Eagles were much tougher than the night before.
The Lady Eagles aggressively contested every kill attempt by the Badgers.
Tough D came from Fowler with several other players getting up above the net to reject the Badger onslaught. There were also some incredible digs with most of them coming from Rocha with nine and Ericson with seven.
On offense Ericson led the team with 10 kills, and right behind her with nine was Rocha. Baker had five, King had four, with Fowler and McFarland each getting one. Rocha also had three service aces.
For the Badgers it was Rees leading all scorers again with 14 kills. Following her it was Bateman with seven, Flannery, Sly and Britnee Clifford with six, Donaldson and Tiffany Harward with three and Kascee Jacobs with two.
The Lady Eagles finished the volleyball season November 11 at the SWAC Region 18A Tournament in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. They were defeated by Snow College 30-17, 30-18, 30-18. Maren Ericson was selected to the 2006 All-Region 2nd team. Karina Rocha received an honorable mention.
North Idaho will represent the conference in the north while SLCC will represent the conference from the south at nationals.