This archived article was written by: Nate Davis
Head Coach Brent Martindale described the last two weeks for the College of Eastern Utah volleyball team as “an emotional rollercoaster.” The team went from the lows of losing to the Utah County All-Stars, to the high of winning the Santa Ana Invitational.
First CEU faced off against the Utah County All-Stars in a match held in Price. The Eagles couldn’t get off the ground against the All-Stars, and lost the match 3-1. The Eagles lost the first match 25-16, but battled back in the second game and secured their only win of the match by a 25020 score. After that, UCAS took over and won the third and fourth games 25-17 and 25-20. Sabrina Simas played well for the Eagles in the loss with 14 kills, Alexis Adams also had 12 kills in the match.
After the disappointing loss, CEU headed to California to take part in the Santa Ana Invitational. The Eagles opened their tournament play against Allan Hancock College. CEU dominated the match, wining in two games 25-11, 25-12; Alexis Adams led the Eagles to victory with 10 kills.
Next for CEU was Saddleback College, it was a tight match with each team winning a game. SC took the first game of the match, winning 25-20, but the Eagles fought back to tie the match with a 25-20 win in the second game. The Eagles eventually won the match due to a higher percentage points in the match.
The Eagles looked to continue play when they took on Louisiana Technical College. CEU easily defeated LTC in two games winning 25-11 and 25-12,
CEU wrapped up pool play against Antelope Valley College. The Eagles were able to defeat AVC and win their pool. CEU easily saw off the challengers from Antelope Valley, winning 25-17 and 25-14.
After pool play finished, the next round was a first to 25-point format. The first team the Eagles faced in this format was Chaffey College. Last year CEU was knocked out of the tournament by Chaffey, so the Eagles went into the game looking for a bit of revenge. CEU played well, and was able to show CC the door, winning the match 25-17.
With the win over Chaffey, the Eagles advanced to the semifinals, where they took on Mt. San Antonio College. CEU was able to win the match and punch their ticket for the finals with a 25-20 win.
In the finals CEU faced off against Saddleback College once again. It was a hard fought match and the Eagles soon found them self on the wrong end of a 18-13 score.
With the Eagles losing, Martindale called a timeout and got the team focused on the match. After the time out CEU came out firing on all cylinders and went on a run led by Julia Potts’ great serving. They fought back to tie the match at 20-20. The Eagles were able to close the match, and win the tournament by a score of 25-21.
Martindale said that the “tournament win was a ‘team thing!’ We had to have everyone do their part, and everyone contributed. What was most satisfying to me was seeing how for the first time this year, I watched the team learn to play together.” He also said the team created a team cheer that they did before every game. Martindale said it was “just the thing” the team needed..
The Eagles will now focus on conference play withvtheir first conference game on Friday, Sept. 25 against Salt Lake Community College at the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center at 7 p.m. Martindale said that he still believes that the team is capable of winning 18 matches this season.