The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Season had many ups and downs

This season has been full of ups and downs for Eastern’s volleyball team, and it ended on a low note with a pair of losses this weekend to remove itself from contention for a spot in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.

Even though the season over for the Panthers, they are looking forward to next season.

This season the Panther volleyball team started with good results, when they finished runner up in the Harvard Invitational in Cambridge, Mass.

The Panthers went a combined 3-4 in their next two weekend tournaments; including, a win over Clemson in East Lansing, Mich. at the Michigan State Spartan Invitational.

The Panthers closed out their pre-OVC schedule with a win against in-state rival Western Illinois.

The Panthers then lost five of their first six OVC matches.

They rebounded, reeling off a string of three wins in a row on the way to winning five matches out of six to even their conference record at 7-7.

The Panthers then lost five of their final seven matches to drop out of contention for a spot in the OVC tournament, which starts Thursday in Morehead, Ky.

One of the two wins in this final stretch for the Panthers came on senior night in Lantz Arena.

After that match the team’s five seniors were honored for their contributions to the program.

Freshman outside hitter Reynae Hutchinson said this season was an improvement for the team as well as a step in the right direction from last season, when the Panthers went 11-20 overall including 4-13 in the OVC.

“I think this season was a step in the right direction,” Hutchinson said. “We had our ups and downs, and I think we all would have liked to win a few more (matches), but I think we’re all happy with how the season went overall.”

Junior libero Brittany Wallace said even though they are disappointed with how the season ended, the Panthers are looking ahead to next year.

“It may not be the ending we had worked for and had wanted,” Wallace said. “Every single one of us wanted more than anything to be playing in the postseason right now, but at the same time we did some great things this season and it’s clear now that our program is heading in a new direction.”

The Panthers are losing five seniors this season, and junior setter Chrissie Albers said even though the seniors will be missed, the underclassmen have shown potential.

“Our seniors will be tough to replace, but we have a bunch of underclassmen that show great potential, and we are also bringing in some good recruits,” Albers said. “We’ll use this time in the offseason to train and get better.”

Sophomore middle hitter Alison Berens said the Panthers improved throughout the year and will look to keep improving next season.

“I think that we did improve,” Berens said. “However, there is always room for improvement, and as we continue to practice together, I think we will do just that.”

Brad Kupiec can be reached at 581-7944

or [email protected]

Season had many ups and downs

Season had many ups and downs

Kylie Cavanah, a senior setter, stretches for the ball during Eastern’s game against Tennessee State Nov. 6 at Lantz Arena. Eastern beat Tennessee State 3-0. (Danny Damiani


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