USU Eastern Press Release
The subzero temperatures of Eastern Wyoming didn’t stop the fourth ranked USU Eastern women’s volleyball team from heating things up on the court over the weekend. In their final four games of preseason, the Lady Eagles crushed the competition, once again knocking off nationally ranked teams and earning their 11th straight victory.
The team started the weekend defeating Casper College in three sets, 25-21, 25-19 and 25-22. Right side hitter Sunny Perry had the heavy arm against the Thunderbirds with 10 kills and two aces in the matchup. She was assisted by Camber Dodson with 15 assists. Middle blocker Rachel West put up four blocks while libero Emma Ricks once again put on a defensive show with 26 digs.
In their second matchup of the day, USU Eastern looked for revenge against No. 8 Western Nebraska. Earlier in the season, the Cougars handed the Lady Eagles one of only two of their losses in a five-set heartbreaker. Not forgetting and unforgiving was USU Eastern as they made a statement against the Cougars in a 3-0 sweep, 25-22, 31-29 and 25-15. Outside hitter Kamryn Wiese led the Eagles offense with 12 kills and 10 digs defensively. Middle blocker Lindsey Otero took her turn in protecting the net with six blocks against the Cougars. Ricks added another 15 digs while setter Avery Best ran the offense with 22 assists and one momentum-changing kill with her signature shovel pass.
The following day, the Lady Eagles faced tournament host and No. 16 Eastern Wyoming on their home court. The first two sets fell the Lady Eagles’ way, 25-19 and 25-21. In the third set, the Lady Eagles struggled to unify as a team, which allowed the Lancers to maintain the lead throughout and take set three, 25-20. After a unifying discussion between sets, the team made the adjustments and defeated Easter Wyoming 3-1, with a 25-15 fourth set score. Kamryn Wiese once again led the offense with an impressive 16 kills against the Lancers. Rachel West had a huge presence defensively with seven blocks at the net. Avery Best fed the offense with 25 assists and once against Emma Ricks proved her two-time national defensive player of the week honors with 35 digs.
In their final game of the tournament, the Lady Eagles looked for revenge against the only other team to hand them a loss on the season. No. 11 Northeastern defeated USU Eastern 3-2 earlier in the season. The Lady Eagles were on a mission to prove their game and their mission was accomplished as they swept the Plainswomen, 25-17, 25-18, and 25-17. Sunny Perry racked up 12 kills and three blocks against Northeastern. Rachel West added four more blocks to her impressive weekend. Camber Dodson and Avery Best added 20 assists each while Emma Ricks totaled 31 additional digs in her most impressive defensive weekend of the season.
The Lady Eagles enter Scenic West conference play breaking multiple school records, including the fourth best spot in the nation and going into conference play 14-2. USU Eastern defeated eight nationally-ranked programs, on the road, and dropped only 15 of the 61 sets played against some of the toughest competition in the country. Several squad members find themselves in the top statistical rankings in the nation.
Eager fans can catch the Lady Eagles in action this week as they open conference play inside the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center against No. 2 Snow College on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. In back-to-back games, on Wednesday the 18th, they’ll take on the College of Southern Nevada at 6 p.m. inside the BDAC.
Spectators are welcome; however, strict social distancing guidelines and masks are required at all times.