USUE Volleyball Battles Ranked Teams, Splits in Las Vegas

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USU Eastern Press Release

USU Eastern volleyball finished its non-conference schedule over the weekend with two wins and two losses at the Lady Coyote Volleyball Invitational in Las Vegas.

The Eagles opened their tournament schedule with a hard fought battle against the #11 Western Nebraska Cougars.

Western Nebraska opened the game with a dominating first set win and they also won the second set. USU Eastern turned it around and won the third and fourth sets.

“The girls decided in set three that they had nothing to lose with this game and it was time to have fun. The first two sets they were playing tight and when we play tight, we struggle,” said USU Eastern head coach Danielle Jensen.

In the fifth set, the Eagles had only two errors and a game-high .333 kill percentage but ultimately fell to the Cougars 15-11. Jensen said that it came down to the service situations in the fifth set.

“If we would have eliminated our service errors in that fifth set we would have won that game,” said Jensen.

Against Western Nebraska, sophomore Alexus Desmarais led the Eagles with 15 digs while sophomore Mackenzie Carter had a team-high 14 kills.

The Eagles rebounded later on Friday night with a 3-0 win over Chandler-Gilbert.

“Winning against Chandler-Gilbert was an awesome comeback that just says that we can focus on the next game and not think about the previous loss,” said USU Eastern freshman Kiara Richardson.

Richardson, playing in front of her hometown crowd, had nine kills and five digs against Chandler-Gilbert. Carter had a huge game statistically for USU Eastern in the win, finishing with 19 kills and five digs.

The Eagles woke up Saturday with another challenge against a ranked team when they went up against #13 Yavapai. They would push Yavapai to a fifth set but would end up losing 3-2 to the Roughriders.

USU Eastern held a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth set, including a 25-14 dominating second set win, before letting their opponent get back into the game.

“We got comfortable with our lead and Yavapai took advantage of it. We struggled passing that game and should have finished the game in set four,” said Jensen.

In the final game of the tournament, the Eagles defeated Victor Valley 3-0 to end the weekend in a split.

The Eagles finish their non-conference schedule with a 9-7 overall record.

Now, the Eagles will turn their attention to their home and conference opener against a nationally-ranked Salt Lake Community College squad.

“I think we are ready for our conference schedule, we just need to start every game hard,” said Richardson.

For coach Jensen, she is ready to be at home in front of the hometown fans instead of the long bus trips.

“It is going to be awesome to finally be home. It is always so fun playing in front of our fans and being able to be on our court. We have two big games to start off with but we are ready to play,” said Jensen.

Friday night’s game against SLCC is schedule for 7 p.m. inside the BDAC.

The Eagles will take on another nationally ranked team in the College of Southern Idaho on Saturday at 3 p.m

All home games will be broadcast live on live.ksl.comyoutube.com/usueastern or koalitv.com.

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