Utah State Eastern volleyball finished its regular season schedule with road matches against top ten opponents on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, the Eagles traveled to Twin Falls to take on #5 College of Southern Idaho. In set one against CSI, the Eagles fell behind 8-0 and were down as much as 12-3 in the set. They would go on to lose the set 25-13.
The second set was a much closer contest but ultimately the Eagles fell 25-19.
Being down two sets, the Eagles would not give up in the third set. They held the lead thirteen times during that set. CSI would pull out the third set win by a score of 25-23 and win their second match win of the season against the Eagles.
In their final game of the regular season, the Eagles took on #10 Salt lake Community College on Saturday. Against SLCC, the Eagles struggled in the first two sets and lost each one by double digits.
Carter said that her team struggles in the first two sets were based off high-expectations they have for themselves.
“We expect so much of ourselves at the beginning of the match and we don’t execute our plays, which gets in our heads,” said Carter.
The Eagles put together a great third set and had the set lead late with a score of 23-22. The Bruins would go on to score four more and take the set 26-24 and win the game 3-0.
USU Eastern head coach Danielle Jensen said after the game that Saturday’s game was an improvement from the day before despite the loss.
“During the game against SLCC, the girls came out stronger and played three better sets then what we saw on Friday,” said Jensen.
With the back to back losses, the Eagles finish the regular season with a 17-9 overall record with a 4-6 conference record. Although they didn’t finish the season with a win, Jensen said that her team has moved on and is completely focused on the tournament.
“We have moved forward from our games. We learn from them, make adjustments and focus on what is in front of us,” said Jensen.
The Eagles finish the regular season in fourth place in the standings and will be the four seed in this weekend’s Region XVIII Tournament.
After the weekend of tough games, Carter believes the games helped prepare them for the tournament.
“We came closer as a team, we are working together better and getting more excited for each other, which will give us the energy we need for the tournament,” said Carter.
Jensen also said that she is happy about where her team is at right now entering this weekend.
“As a coach, I couldn’t be happier with the tournament seeding and the way the girls are playing as we enter tournament play,” she said.
On Friday, the Eagles will take on Colorado Northwest in the first round of the tournament at 11 a.m. in Ephraim. The winner of that match will play the number one seed CSI at 4 p.m. in the tournament semifinals.
For more information about the Region XVIII tournament, follow Utah State Eastern Athletics on Facebook or go to scenicwestsports.com.