This archived article was written by: Nate Davis
The College of Eastern Utah women’s volleyball team wrapped up a long road trip where they faced the no. 1 and no. 2 ranked teams in the nation, after opening their first weekend home against no. 5 in the nation Salt Lake Community College, and rival Snow College.
The Eagles first faced off against the SLCC Bruins in Price. CEU was outclassed by the tough Bruin team, and dropped the game in straight sets, losing 3-0. The Bruins came out strong in the first game, and won the first set in convincing fashion by a score of 25-15. In the second set SLCC won by a score of 25-7. In the third set, the Eagles were able to challenge the tough Bruin team, but ultimately lost 25-17.
Barbra Jardim, and Meagan Garvin led the Eagles with seven kills each. Julia Potts performed well in the loss with 16 assists, and six digs for the Eagles.
Head Coach Brent Martindale said that SLCC “came out firing” and that everything they did “seemed perfect.”
After the loss to SLCC, CEU played host to in-state rival Snow Badgers. The Eagles came into the game against Snow feeling energetic, and ready to play, Martindale said that it doesn’t take much to get excited to play Snow. The Eagles were looking to push their season record against the Badgers to 2-0, and came out strong. The first set was hard fought, and Snow was able to eke out a 25-23 point win.
But in the second set CEU got in the driver’s seat, and took control winning 25-19. In the third set, the Eagles continued their good play winning 25-17. In the fourth set, CEU looked to close out the match, and played hard, coming up with a 25-20 win to take the match against Snow.
Coach Martindale said that the team “really put it together and showed how we’ve improved by beating them in four games.” Jardim had her best game of the season, and as Martindale said “one of the best ever by a Golden Eagle.” putting up an impressive 21 kills, and two blocks. Garvin had nine kills, two blocks and a .400 hitting percentage. Alexis Adams had nine kills and 15 digs. Sabrina Simas added eight kills and Chloe Wilson had six kills, three blocks and a .600 hitting percentage.
Following the game against Snow, the team embarked on its longest road trip of the season, heading to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to take on the North Idaho College Cardinals. The trip saw the team travel nearly 2,000 miles, and covering five different states said Martindale.
NIC is ranked no. 1 in the nation and promised to be a tough test for CEU. But the team performed well, despite dropping the first two sets, 15-25, and 18-25. The team fought back in the third set. The score was tied at 23, the Eagles had four serves at game point, but each time NIC battled back to tie the score. Finally CEU overpowered them to take the set 28-26.
Martindale said that the win “changed the atmosphere in the gym … you could see a little fear in their eyes.” In the fourth set CEU played well, but with the score at 21-19 NIC took over, and won the match by a score of 25-20. He said despite the loss it felt good to scare the no. 1 ranked team in the nation.
The next team the Eagles took on was the College of Southern Idaho Eagles. CEU came into the game against CSI with high expectations, but in the end as Martindale said, “we just had very little energy left and did not play well, losing in three games and not really testing them at all.” They fell to CSI 25-16, 25-13 and 25-16.
Even though the team lost their last two games Martindale said “despite finishing poorly, I feel we have played well the last three weeks, and I think we can improve even more.” The Eagles are back in action this weekend when they play a non-conference match this Friday, Oct. 9, against Morten College from Illinois at the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center. The match starts at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, Oct. 10, they will face Colorado Northwestern College at 1 p.m. in the BDAC.