Eagles volleyball picked to finish 9th in Big Sky - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Eagles volleyball picked to finish 9th in Big Sky

Courtesy: EWU Athletics Courtesy: EWU Athletics

By EWU Athletics

OGDEN, Utah – Following its second consecutive Big Sky Conference Tournament appearance, the Eastern Washington University volleyball team has been picked ninth in the 2017 BSC Preseason Coaches' Poll, the conference announced on Friday (Aug. 11).

1 North Dakota 120 (10)
2 Northern Colorado 103 (2)
3 Sacramento State 99
4 Northern Arizona 96
5 Portland State 82
6 Idaho State 71
7 Idaho 63
8 Weber State 49
9 Eastern Washington 44
10 Montana State 24
11 Montana 21
12 Southern Utah 20

(Number of first-place votes in parentheses)

The Eagles picked up a total of 44 total points from the league coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own squad. Eastern was edged out by Weber State who was picked eighth with 49 points, but finished ahead of rivals Montana State (24), Montana (21) and Southern Utah (20).

"I am not too caught up with the ranking. I believe at the end of the day the parity in this conference is high, anyone can beat anyone and you have to be prepared every night," said head coach Michael King. "Everyone is pretty good, it comes down to who is more consistent. I'm placing my attention on what we can control: the process and our goals and values that motivate and drive us and how those get transferred to action and interactions."

After serving as the interim head coach for a year and a half, King is entering his second full season at the helm of the program. King coached the Eagles to a 13-13 overall record (8-8 Big Sky) in 2016, finishing third in the north division of the conference. EWU also landed a spot in the BSC Tournament for the second straight season.

The 2017 roster is full of fresh faces, as the Eagles have added ten newcomers. Freshmen Catelyn Linke (Pasco, Wash.), Emma Dunn (Salt Lake City, Utah), Leanna Shymanski (Kennewick, Wash.), MaKenna Davis (Parker, Colo.), Jayde Robertsen (Tsawwassen, B.C.) and Letarona Mose (Long Beach, Calif.) along with transfers Kahle Elliott (Austin, Tex./Seattle U), Katie Hoffman (Bellevue, Wash./Iowa Central CC), Ashelyn Jones (Honolulu, Hawaii/College of Southern Idaho), and Alexandra Espinosa (Sunnyvale, Calif./College of Southern Idaho) all look to make immediate impacts for Eastern.

The Eagles also return two starters in seniors Chloe Weber and Ashley Seiler. Seniors Megan LaFond and Regan Harr, along with junior Taylor Larsen and sophomore Hannah Absalonson round out the returning core.

Defending champions North Dakota were picked as the preseason favorite with 120 points and 10 first place votes. Northern Colorado was tabbed to finish second with 103 points and two first place votes.

Eastern Washington opens the 2017 campaign at the UNLV Tournament on Aug. 25 where they face UC Davis and Binghamton on the opening day of competition before playing hosts UNLV on Aug. 26. The home, and conference, opener takes place on Sept. 21 against Montana, followed by a Sept. 23 matchup against Montana State.

For more information on the EWU volleyball team, follow @EWUVolleyball on Twitter or like Eastern Washington Volleyball on Facebook.

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