Wildcats Serve 12 Aces to Beat Eastern Washington - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Eastern Washington Volleyball

Wildcats Serve 12 Aces to Beat Eastern Washington

© Eastern Washington remains winless (0-20) this season (Photo: EWU Athletics) © Eastern Washington remains winless (0-20) this season (Photo: EWU Athletics)

by EWU Athletics

Coming into this match, Weber State led the Eastern Washington University volleyball team in league-only statistics in just two categories - blocking and serving. But the Wildcats certainly capitalized on those two strengths, as they beat EWU, 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-18) on Thursday (Oct. 11) in Ogden, Utah.

Weber State (8-12, 2-7 Big Sky) had 12 service errors - the most by any Big Sky team thus far in the league season - and out-blocked the Eagles, 10-4.

"Our passing and unforced errors were pretty ridiculous," said EWU head coach Lisa Westlake. "Our blocking was not great either. We missed a lot of assignments. But as a group, we hit better than we have been recently, so there is progress being made in some areas. We just have to work out the others, and put it all together."

Although Eastern came into the match averaging more kills and digs per set than Weber State, and boasting a better team hitting percentage and opponent hitting percentage, EWU's inability to deliver a pass on Thursday allowed Weber State to control the match.

"We are waiting for the ball to come to us, instead of going after it," said Westlake. "We are not being aggressive. It seems like nobody wants to be the one to go get it, in case they make the error. There's an attitude adjustment that needs to happen."

Weber State aced EWU six times in the first set alone, leading to a .040 efficiency for Eastern to open the match.

The Eagles picked it up in the second set though, hitting an impressive .333 clip. EWU enjoyed a 20-17 lead late in the set, but the Wildcats made big plays down the stretch to narrowly win it, 25-22. WSU had four aces and four blocks in the second.

Eastern saw eight ties and four lead changes in the third set, before Weber State pulled away for the 25-18 victory.

Eastern's young middles continued to be the team's biggest offensive threats, as sophomore Talia Fermantez and redshirt-freshman Kellen Barfield combined for 12 kills with just two errors on 24 attempts. Fermantez also led the team in blocking with three.

Freshman Allie Schumacher chipped in seven kills, as did senior Cora Kellerman. Sophomore Kelsey Julian added six kills as a starter.

Suiting up for the first time in her career as the libero, senior Shelby Puckett picked up seven digs for EWU.

Eastern will play a flourishing Idaho State team on Saturday (Oct. 13) in Pocatello to officially complete the first half of its 2012 Big Sky schedule. The Bengals are 13-4 on the season and currently sit in second place in the league standings with a 7-1 record. First serve from Reed Gym is scheduled for 7 p.m. Pacific time.