By Calvin Jensen, USU Eastern Volleyball
It was an afternoon plagued with errors for the #13 Lady Eagles in their 3-0 loss to rival #6 Snow College Badgers.
In their first set, the Lady Eagles were their own worst enemy and prevented themselves from gaining any momentum, racking up 17 errors in the 25-12 set loss.
In the second set, the Lady Eagles outperformed the Badgers on offense with 17 kills, holding the Badgers to only six. However, the team again allowed 18 errors to slow them down, creating a point-for-point battle with the Badgers. With only one point away from a second set victory and a loud home crowd cheering them on, an Eagle error again tied the score, allowing Snow to push the final two points and take the set 26-24 in a heartbreaking, second set loss.
USU Eastern refused to lay down and continued to battle in the third set. They came from behind on two occasions to tie the score, hoping to push the game to a fourth set but ultimately fell to the Badgers with a third set score of 25-22.
“Losses like this only fuel the fire for our team. I know the team will come out with intense effort this week in practice and put in extra hours to make sure that the errors that lost the game today won’t happen next time,” said defensive specialist Emma Ricks.
When asked about the team’s loss, head coach Danielle Jensen said, “It’s frustrating that errors are what cost the team the win today. We led on offense and defense throughout the game but the team cut themselves short with their mistakes. We will make the adjustments and will look for a win on their home court.”
Outside hitter Breanne Bitter led the offensive attack with 11 kills. Middle blocker Kahea Nihipali played a huge role at the net with three blocks, five kills and a .400 hitting percentage. Setter Ashlee McUne added 31 assists with opposite hitter Sunny Perry leading on defense with a career high 17 digs, adding nine kills on the offense.
The Lady Eagles will move into their second half of Scenic West conference play with an overall record of 23-7 and a second place, three-way tie in Region 18 play. The Eagles will remain at home this week as they take on the defending national champions College of Southern Idaho on Thursday at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Oct. 19, the team will look for revenge against the eighth ranked Salt Lake Community College Bruins at 1 p.m. in the BDAC.