This archived article was written by: Chase Adams
Recently the Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah women’s volleyball team returned from the Scottsdale Classic. While in Scottsdale Ari., the Eagles started their season with a record of three and two. They lost to Glendale College three games to one and Phoenix College three games to one. Then they turned around and beat Mesa State Community College by shutting them out. Mesa State happens to be the college that former CEU head volleyball coach Brent Martindale is coaching. CEU finished the tournament beating Scottsdale College three games to zero, and Eastern Arizona three games to one. The team put up relatively good statistics for the tournament ending with a total of 201 kills and 58 blocks.
Coach Grant Barraclough said, “It was a good learning experience for the team. They worked hard and know where they lacked.” A team grows when they go on the road, they become more unified in purpose of winning and helping each other out. As a team grows, the stronger they are, the more they want to progress as a whole, not just individually.
On Oct. 17, the USU-CEU Eagles played the Salt Lake All-Stars, a team of six graduated women from CEU. The most recent to graduate was last year. The first two games went perfect for the Eagles, but they failed in the last three games. The team combined for 56 kills with Barbara Jardin and Miranda Parkinson leading with 17 each. The first two games looked like the Eagles were perfect with setting assists, blocking Salt Lakes kills and reading the direction of the ball. In the last three games, the ladies made costly errors and the All-Stars took advantage of them. The first-two games looked like warm-up games for the team of six and once they were warm, there was no stopping them.
“As a team, it was a good learning experience, it shows us what we need to do for the next games and what we need to train on,” Coach Barraclough said.
On Sept. 24 and 25, the Eagles start conference play. On the 24 the team will visit Salt Lake Community College who are 18-1 and beat the Eagles in the Twin Falls, Idaho Tournament three games to zero. The Bruins have 825 kills, 760 assists, 1086 digs, only 55 errors, and are ranked first in the SWAC. The next day, the Eagles travel to Ephraim to face the Snow College Badgers who are 10-9. This will be the first meeting between these two teams this season.
The Eagles have 464 kills, 403 assists, 551 digs, 174 blocks, and are 5-7. They have a lot to prove this week. As in all sports, it’s great to get a win but it’s the best to get a win in your conference, especially with a young team like the USU-CEU Eagles. This will establish a tempo for how the rest of the season will go. If the team can take these games, they will be in good position in the SWAC and will be an even 50 percent with their record, with seven wins and seven losses, the coach added.
These upcoming weeks will be a test and will be tough, but if they can pull off wins, it will be very rewarding, and a week of accomplishments would do the team good. They are a young, unified team full of love and willing to work with one another. When they play, they have a goal and they know how they want to achieve it, he said.