Panthers finish 0-3 at Dayton Invitational

Sean Hastings, Assistant Sports Editor

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Coach Sam Wolinski knew going into the weekend at the Dayton Invitational that it would be the Eastern volleyball team’s toughest test so far this season.

The Panthers lost all three matches over the weekend to Cleveland State, Dayton, and Baylor.

The Panthers had a 5-2 record on the season heading into the weekend but now stand at 5-5 after losing the three matches.

Eastern took on Cleveland State to open the weekend and lost in five sets, 3-2 (23-25,25-18, 21-25, 27-25, 10-15).

Senior Chelsea Lee led the team with 19 kills. Sophomore Maria Brown added 16 of her own and red-shirt sophomore Josie Winner had 9.

Senior Marah Bradbury had a personal season high 63 assists in the loss to Cleveland State.

Senior Stephanie Wallace once again led both sides in digs with 26.

Cleveland State played the Panthers tough and made things difficult for Eastern.

“They just won some of the long rallies and they kept battling and made it hard for us to stay consistent in system,” Wolinski said.

Despite the loss, Wolinski was happy with how the team fought back in the fourth set to stay alive and force the decisive fifth set.

The Panthers started the match strong jumping out to a 15-10 lead but allowed Cleveland State to jump back in it and get it tied at 19.

It went back and forth for a few points but Cleveland state eventually took a 23-20 lead.

The Panthers, forced to win to stay alive rallied to score four points and take a 24-23 lead and after more back and forth play, scored the deciding 27th point to win 27-25.

On Saturday, the Panthers lost 3-1 to tournament host, Dayton (20-25, 16-25, 26-24, 19-25).

The Flyers out-killed, out-assisted, and out-blocked the Panthers in the four sets.

Bradbury led with 21 assists for the Panthers but Jane Emmenecker of Dayton had 51 assists. Winner, sophomore Allie Hueston, and freshman Abby Knight each had two blocks. Amber Erahon of Dayton had six.

The match against Baylor Saturday afternoon also ended in 3-1 in Baylor’s favor (24-26, 25-18, 25-19, 25-13).

The Panthers almost pulled out a first set win as they were down 24-17 and scored seven straight to tie the game. Baylor would score the next two to get the win.

This was the first time the Panthers were unable to come away with a winning record on the weekend as they went 3-0 in the first invitational and 2-1 in the second.

Eastern will be on the road again this weekend at the Oakland Golden Grizzly Invitational where they will run into Ohio State, Oakland University, Dartmouth college, and Western Michigan.

That will be the last chance the Panthers will have to prepare for conference play that starts 9.25.

 

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