Photo by Jeff Barrett
By Calvin Jensen, USU Eastern Sports Information Contributor
The No. 12 Lady Eagles (26-8, 7-3) hit the road this weekend as they competed in their final two games of the regular season. Looking to hold on to the #2 spot in Scenic West standings, the Lady Eagles knew what was on the line in both contests of the weekend.
The team began their final road trip of the season traveling to the home of the fifth ranked Snow College Badgers (29-2, 10-0). The Eagles knew they would need to enter the contest eliminating the errors that heavily contributed to their 3-0 loss earlier in the season.
During the first set, the Eagles battled Snow College point for point until the Badgers pulled away late in the set for the 25-20 win. The Eagles had a tough time rebounding as they began the second set and struggled to organize any type of offensive attack against the Badgers. With several substitutions off the bench in an attempt to gain some kind of traction offensively, the Eagles ultimately dropped the second set 25-11.
Following a short break between sets, the Eagles came out in the third set and took an early lead, calling for a quick Badgers timeout. The Eagles made two big runs throughout the set and defeated the Badgers with a thrilling 25-21 third set victory.
With the momentum in the Eagles’ favor, they continued to apply pressure on the Badgers. Late in the fourth set, with several opportunities to send the game to five, the Lady Eagles were their own worst enemy. After leading the entire set, the team’s errors allowed Snow to tie the score late in the game. Serving errors by the Eagles led to a heartbreaking loss, 27-25.
On Saturday, the team traveled to Las Vegas to take on the College of Southern Nevada (4-20, 0-10). With the Coyotes still looking for their first win in conference play and with nothing to lose, the Coyotes stunned the Lady Eagles with a 25-19 first set win. Knowing a loss against CSN would cost them a hard-fought second seed placement in tournament standings, including a coveted first round bye, the Lady Eagles rebounded in the following sets, controlling the momentum and picking up the wins in the final three sets, 25-21 25-19 and 25-7.
The Lady Eagles wrap up their regular season with a record 26 wins and eight losses. With a 7-3 record in SWAC play, the Eagles secure the #2 spot in conference standings and earn a first round bye in this weekend’s tournament. They will face the winner of Southern Idaho and Southern Nevada on Friday at 4 p.m. at host Snow College in Ephraim.