Volleyball team starts season strong


Jason Howell

Senior outside hitter/setter Abby Saalfrank had nine kills and four errors out of four sets played during the Panthers' 3-1 loss to Indiana State on Sept. 1 in Lantz Arena.

Sean Hastings, Assistant Sports Editor

The Eastern women’s volleyball team is 5-2 at the start of the season after playing in two tournaments and a home match against Indiana State.

The Panthers started the season, 3-0, after winning the University of Illinois- Chicago Invitational. In the tournament, the team defeated UIC, Central Michigan and tournament host University of Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne.

Seniors Kayla Nesbitt, Marah Bradbury and sophomore Allie Hueston all earned All- Tourney honors.

Central Michigan was a tough opponent for the Panthers, but Eastern was able to come back in sets four and five to beat Central Michigan.

Indiana State ended Eastern’s winning streak when they came into Lantz Arena and beat the Panthers in their home opener (19-25, 25-16, 17-25, 26-28).

The Panthers were able to get back to their winning ways when they competed at the DePaul Invitational this past weekend. They finished 2-1 and took second place.

Toledo was more of a test for the Panthers, but they pulled through and grabbed their second win of the weekend.

Their match against DePaul was close every step of the way as the last three sets all ended in 26-24 scores, (21-25, 26-24, 24-26, 24-26).

But playing a match like that only made the team better, according to coach Sam Wolinski.

The team had to really dig deep and fight to get some key points and the team knows that will help them in future matches.

Hueston received All-Tourney honors again for her play over the weekend.

None of the matches the Panthers have played have been Ohio Valley Conference matchups.

OVC play will start Sept. 25 when the Panthers host Tennessee Tech. They will also be hosting Jacksonville State Sept. 26.

Throughout the first seven matches, the Panthers have seen a lot of success from everyone on the team. Senior captain Stephanie Wallace leads the team in digs with 123, averaging 4.39 per set.

Fellow senior captain Marah Bradbury leads the team with 287 assists with the next closest being Wallace with 25.

Senior Chelsea Lee leads the team with 87 kills. Hueston and senior Abby Saalfrank are right behind her with 74 and 56 kills respectively.

The Panthers’ season will continue this weekend at the Dayton Flyer Invitational in Dayton, Ohio.


Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]