USU Eastern Earns Bid to National Tournament


Photo by Levan Hall

By Calvin Jensen

For only the second time in school history, the Utah State Eastern women’s volleyball team will compete in the NJCAA National Tournament held in West Plains, Missouri. The Lady Eagles were awarded one of only two at-large bids that we were announced on Wednesday afternoon. The team will have less than a week to prepare before they head East to compete in the 16-team tournament held Nov. 17-19.

USU Eastern ended the regular season ranked eighth in the nation with a 24-7 record overall, an impressive feat for a team with only two active sophomores and 13 freshman on the roster. An outstanding preseason performance and a second-place finish in the Scenic West Athletic Conference undoubtedly propelled the Lady Eagle squad onto the biggest stage of NJCAA volleyball.

Eastern was one of few programs in the nation who never lost to an unranked opponent. They had 10 wins against top 20 teams during the regular season, many earned during a record-breaking, 17-game win streak. The Lady Eagles had four All-Region Team recipients with four Lady Eagles topping six individual statistical categories within the Scenic West Athletic Conference.

The last time the Lady Eagles appeared at the national tournament was in Spring 2021 where the team finished in seventh place and put USU Eastern and Price, Utah on the map.

Both tournament appearances have been under the leadership of head coach Danielle Jensen, who has year-to-year taken the program to new heights.

“We are ecstatic,” said Jensen. “This is what our goal was when we began our season and I couldn’t be prouder of this team for putting in the work to achieve their goal. They deserve this moment and I believe they have the ability to go deep into the tournament if they play their game and focus on their absolute capability of bringing home the title.”

#8 seed USU Eastern (27-4, 7-3) will face #9 seed Central Wyoming (23-9, 10-0) on Thursday, Nov. 17. Game times and other tournament details will be announced in coming days.

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