8th Straight Victory for 13th Ranked Eagles


Photo by Jeff Barrett

By Utah State Eastern Athletics

The 13th ranked USU Eastern women’s volleyball team traveled to Twin Falls, Idaho over the weekend to participate in its fourth straight tournament hosted by the College of Southern Idaho.

In the first showdown of the weekend, the Lady Eagles delivered a commanding performance, sweeping Western Wyoming Community College with final set scores of 25-13, 25-16 and 25-13.

It was an incredible offensive showing by key players for Eastern, including freshman outside hitter Kelsy Stanger, who delivered eight kills with a .333 attack percentage, and Lauren Hamilton, contributing seven kills with a .353 attack percentage and four blocks.

Freshman outside hitter Emma Grant added five crucial kills to the team’s tally, while sophomore middle blocker Rachel West displayed incredible accuracy with five kills and an outstanding .833 attack percentage in addition to four blocks on the net.

Sophomore middle blocker Casidy Fried also played a pivotal role, securing six kills with a .385 attack percentage and four blocks as well, and sophomore setter Camber Dodson orchestrated the team’s offense with 17 assists and four service aces. Sophomore libero Paige Shumway picked up eight digs in the contests.

In their second game of opening day, the Lady Eagles faced Central Wyoming. USU Eastern came away victorious in a 3-1 defeat with set scores of 25-21, 21-25, 26-24 and 25-22.

Several key players once again stepped up for USU Eastern during the competitive matchup. Freshman right side hitter Lauren Hamilton led the charge with a remarkable five blocks, 15 kills and .458 attack percentage. Grant had eight crucial kills and Fried put up a wall with seven blocks at the net. Dodson provided 30 assists to her teammates and Shumway protected the floor with 12 digs in the game.

On Saturday, USU Eastern would face the University of Providence – Montana and pick up their third tournament win with a 3-1 victory over the Argos with set scores of 25-8, 25-22, 17-25 and 25-10.

Leading in kills for the Lady Eagles was Fried with remarkable accuracy, chalking up eight kills with a .875% hitting percentage to add to her six blocks on defense. West also put the hammer down with seven kills and an impressive .875% hitting percentage. Dodson had 16 assists and Shumway had 13 digs on defense.

In their final matchup of the tournament against a team anxiously waiting to break through to the Top 20 was Casper College. USU Eastern showed grit and fight and came out on top of Thunderbirds in another 3-1 win with set scores of 25-19, 26-24, 19-25 and 26-24.

Kelsy Stanger stepped up big for the Lady Eagles, racking up a season high 17 kills against the Thunderbirds with Fried once again dominating from the middle with 13 kills and five blocks in the contests. West had 10 kills once again with impressive accuracy with a .769% hitting percentage. Freshman setter Agata Makowska and Dodson had 41 assists collectively and 19 digs were earned in an impressive performance by Shumway.

No. 13 USU Eastern (12-5) will participate in its final preseason tournament as they travel to Las Vegas, Nevada to take part in the Coyote Classic hosted by the College of Southern Nevada. The Lady Eagles will face two nationally-ranked opponents in #14 Eastern Arizona and #16 Arizona Western. First up will be Glendale College on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 11 a.m. PST.

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