This archived article was written by: Riley Spears
After a short pre-season schedule, College of Eastern Utah’s women’s volleyball team was eager to start conference play against two nationally-ranked teams: College of Northern Idaho College and College of Southern Idaho.
On September 25, NIC started controlling the Eagles, winning the first set 25-18. In the second game, CEU put up a fight, losing in the end 25-21. In the third set, CEU picked up the pace and got the win 20-25. In the fourth set, CEU was again faced with another elimination game, but could not pull off the win like the set before, losing 25-22, and losing the match in four sets.
“We had our chances to actually win this match. We lost a lead in game two, won game three and lost a four-point lead in game four. We could have easily been up two games to one if a few things had bounced our way,” said Head Coach Brent Martindale.
Megan Garvin led all hitters with 13 kills and added three aces and two blocks for an amazing game. Marissa Crookston helped the cause adding 10 kills and four blocks. Karissa Law had nine kills with Alexis Adams seven kills and two aces. Alex Schuda had 18 assists with Tauna Garvin adding 17 assists.
“Megan Garvin can be a very dangerous hitter. She has the tools to be very good. Our other middle, Marissa Crookston has been blocking very well and has raised her hitting game,” Martindale said.
After proving to themselves they can hang with the big teams, CEU then had to play the number-two nationally-ranked team in Twin Falls, Idaho. CSI did a much better job handling Eastern Utah, holding it to only 13 points in the first match.
“We started out in game one actually out blocking them. But we just could not sustain the momentum,” Martindale said.
In the second game, CEU put up more of a fight, but still lost 25-20. In the third game CEU again had a hard time stopping the powerhouse team from CSI and lost 25-21.
“A very strong CSI team handed it to CEU, although we played well enough to be close in the last third of games two and three, we just could not stop the bleeding from their big block,” Martindale added. “This was the first time all season we looked a little frightened against a team. CSI can be very intimidating, but I know we have more in us. We’ll be ready for them at home.”
Adams led the team with 11 kills with Megan Garvin adding three kills and three aces to her stats. Kristy Rindlisbacher also had 10 digs in the losing effort.
“Alexis Adams hit well against the big block. Megan Garvin hit well, but we just didn’t get the ball to her enough,” the coach said.
After a tough two games, CEU was ready for an easier competitor and they had to look no further than Colorado Northwestern Community College, the last place team in the conference. This was not just a less talented team to face than the other powerhouse teams in the conference, but it was their first home game in a long time.
CEU started off the match playing hard and hitting the ball well. “We have been working hard at our offense, and it seems to be paying off. We have a few things still to work on, and that will be important for our next matches,” Martindale said.
CEU won the first set easily, blowing away CNCC 25-17. giving the Spartans a taste of what the rest of the match had to offer. They again won the second set 25-16 continuing the hard hitting they showed in the first set. In the third set they kept up the pace and again won an easy 25-15. This was a short match and helped CEU get their first win of the conference schedule. They doubled the number of blocks of CNCC, and had as many ace serves (14) as CNCC had kills.
Leading the scoring attack for CEU was Adams with eight kills, a .368 hitting percentage and four-ace serves. Law also had seven kills and two blocks, followed by Megan Garvin getting six kills, four aces and two blocks. Crookston had five kills and five blocks, and Nicole Graham also had five kills for the Eagles.
“Alexis Adams and Karissa Law have been strong for us these past few weeks at the outside hitter positions. And both of our middles (Megan Garvin and Marissa Crookston) have done outstanding,” Martindale said.
Handling the setting responsibilities for EU was Schuda, who had 14 assists, and Tauna Garvin who had 12 assists.
“I was happy with our offense. To have five players with five or more kills means we are spreading out the swings very well. That credits our setters,” Martindale said.
CEU next plays at home number six ranked Salt Lake Community College Bruins Friday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. and Snow College Badgers Saturday, Oct. 11 at 3 p.m. in the BDAC. SLCC will surely move up the rankings this week with its home wins over number-two ranked CSI, and number-11 ranked NIC. Students are admitted to the homes games free with their activity cards.
Team Conference Overall
SLCC 3-0 23-7
CSI 3-1 25-4
NIC 3-1 21-8
CEU 1-2 7-10
Snow 0-3 15-16
CNCC 0-3 0-20