February 29, 2024

Four out of six SWAC teams in NJCAA poll; USU Eastern struggles with competition


This archived article was written by: David Osborne Jr.

The Golden Eagles volleyball team may play in the toughest region in the NJCAA. According to the most recent poll, four out of the six teams in Region 18 are ranked in the Top 20, two in the Top 10. Recently the team played two of those top ranked teams on the road before returning home to play the only other team that is un-ranked in the Scenic West Athletic Conference.
The team started their weekend road trip taking on the College of Southern Idaho, currently ranked eighth in the nation. In the first set, USU Eastern was not much of a match for CSI but in the last two sets the Golden Eagles were able to challenge the home team. CSI won in three sets; 14-25, 22-25, 21-25. The Golden Eagles played a sound game with only 11 errors while forcing CSI into 17 errors; however, the Golden Eagles were unable to capitalize getting only 25 kills while allowing CSI 49. Several different players stood out for the team throughout the game, Carly Dalton led in points and kills with 8.5 and 8 respectively, Paige Peterson had 10 assists and 8 digs although Lauren Karn led in the later set with 10 digs.
Two days after facing CSI in Twin Falls, USU Eastern drove up to Coeur d’Alene Idaho, to face North Idaho College as the last part of their road trip. NIC is currently 16 in the nation. USU Eastern played another solid game but that was still not quite enough for them to over take NIC, losing in three sets; 20-25, 20-25, 20-25. The Golden Eagles once again cut down on their errors with only 15 throughout the three sets while getting 25 kills. NIC had 20 errors but still managed 41 kills. Dalton along with Amanda Freestone led the team in points with nine apiece, with eight of Dalton’s points coming from kills. Peterson also shared the lead in assists with Masi Steele, both recording 11 on the stat sheet.
After three weekends on the road, the Golden Eagles finally got to play at home in the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center to take on Colorado Northwestern Community College. The Golden Eagles were able to make quick work of the Spartans winning in three sets; 12-25, 18-25, 20-25. The team capitalized, getting 33 kills compared to their 13 errors, while CNCC had 27 kills but 26 errors. Dalton once again led in several different categories of the box score for the Golden Eagles, scoring 9.5 points and recording 9 kills. Peterson led for the third weekend in a row in the assist category with 14. Karn shared apart of the lead in the dig category with Koralys Gonzalez who both recorded 14 digs.
The team will finish out their season in the BDAC against Snow College, ranked 15, on Nov. 1 and Salt Lake Community College, ranked 7, on Nov. 2. On Nov. 8 and 9, the Golden Eagles will play in the Region 18 tournament playing either Snow or NIC in the first round.